Some Truth by Taryn Schwilling

after Sontag

The beauty ruin 
brings is my subject-
less portrait   
complicit as 
failing me  falling 

dead atop my own
shadow   or the sick bliss
 of my little flinch 

at an other’s pain   
I’m a spy in the death-
house    the love-house    
delivering the dead 

as you wish show the body 

limbs arranged
for dramatic effect    yet 
such shock even as 
this has limits  

ceasing to feel     perhaps     
my story is common 

you desire the archival horror         

so watch my figure
fail for being 
too human   

the medium a dim flicker 
of the naked bulb    
baring the romantic 

swollen as a grain of rice
arranged rightly like 
my heart   mangy-
blessed by the loud-
speaker’s chanting 
scripture  for the many 

I brush bark to golden my cheeks 

I lose my sight at night   
I take the pills
to kill it    it dies I think  
I can’t distinguish

between frangipani 
& bougainvillea 
flowering from 
novels  or pink creeping 
up my own balcony  
like greasy paws 

don’t ask which animal’s meat keeps me upright   

I thank him 
for making me 
lonely   but for 
the wedding crowding 
my front door  
drums  drumming— 
every kind of hunger

the gods keep at it on the loudspeaker   

we live in different seasons 
but wake to the same 
wet orb

I lost two organs     
slept upright to drink 
the liquid  I drink it 
still    slow lungs   
palm to leaf or hand 

to love   I love    I plant the phantom 

fear    hoping you wont 
survive your self    I 
survived every fall 
from the literal horse    
my desires made me 
ruinous      let me quit

the milk-livered king   
pleasure takes me over    

I can’t bear decencies
a call for flowers
but for to charm
the snake to play

I plant my arrow deep

the bull and mare 
her head half-bent   
in struggle like any 
other   entering
the vestibule  into sun-
shade the gold-
bearing river

I worship with my hands 

for the heart can’t 
be made content   
the gods stand