The Rescuers & Devotion

The Rescuers & Devotion

The Rescuers

Among the populace of plentiful johns
getting paid was my most political act.
I canvassed an entire district
for the right to monetize my sex,
and men did open their doors.
I destructed property with my pussy
and many men uncomplainingly paid
the fine. Thank you, Men.
I don’t need the state to protect me,
I need the state to forget me, then rot.
In the crusaders’ gated utopia I would go knocking
again every time—feet bare, breasts raw—
before I’d wrap on an apron, put a bun
in the oven, or wield a sewing needle
without murderous intent. I will not listen
to one more story in which a sex worker dies
or hear one more woman advocate eradication
I’m warning you, I’ve never met a whore
who wasn’t a writer or could be cured
by a cage, never felt a single soft dawn
of regret for what I do in the bare
light of day. I prostrate myself
for a printing press, I mint enough
to buy myself back. No world on earth
outlasts us so in this book, the prostitutes
never die. Here they live free
forever, and are happy.

Devotion

I don’t know if I can respect someone
who doesn’t feel the way I feel about rock
hard abs. I’m saying: I need a carrot,
I can’t be my own carrot. I can’t eat myself,
I’m not paleo. With God as my witness I go hungry
again. I know no self-discipline but ambition
which comes on like mania, like the drop,
like I’m Helen Hunt on angel dust, blasting myself
through windows, my form too fabulous for the indoors.

In love my ex sends me ads for a bodybuilder
I fucked when he and I were still “together.” Not famous,
just in real estate which I know sounds gross
but trust me, it was. The joke is now I have a disease
otherwise found only in oxen, those square herbivores
tipped by the hand that feeds them
to eat them, the invisible hand, moving
with malice under the moon at night
and by day, a bored teenager
gored by inertia. If you want a big sale,
so say the signs, go with a big guy.
They’re for those who lie awake lowing
who will fill my empty field? their meadows
not yet yolked to the carrot farmers, the cattle herders,
the genteel cowboys in need of an amber range
beyond the length of wave sounds carry on,
sound is. Rippling. Forever below the moon I moo
my emptiness and stroke my rigid stomach
in vain, plowed by a beast
with so many burdens, idly touched
by too many hands.  

I truly tried hard to be better than this,
a person who takes her body personally.
In the stinking elevator, a boy leans into his brother’s stroller,
unerring: “you’re just a little buh-buh.” Well,
so what if I am


Charlotte Shane  is trying desperately to leave New York. She is a co-founder of  TigerBee Press .

Charlotte Shane is trying desperately to leave New York. She is a co-founder of TigerBee Press.

Women

Women

Roundtable on Desire

Roundtable on Desire