The bone festish close
in your shirt pocket,
the worry beads,
the medicine stone.

Your Souvenirs of Love.

Where I write there is an iridescent
morpho butterfly from Brazil,
three times the size of a monarch,
pinned in a black frame
so that its colors
are the only movement
it can make.

Souvenirs of Love.

The morphine inside us,
the poppy springing
from our mouths.
How drowning is necessary
to a dry seed.

Years ago in Los Angeles
I was waiting for Salvatore
to arrive and take me to Venice,
the half-mythical shore
full of ghosts and children
and sailors turned to soapstone
beneath the docks.
Phoning from Sunset
just outside a lingerie shop
where three women gathered armfuls
of dead black and white angels
to disguise themselves in.

Tuesday Francesca took me
down Hollywood Blvd., walking
fast past the motels
that only know tenants
for 20 minutes at a time,
dead stars blurring
beneath my feet.
Dietrich, Cooper, Garbo
back to the silents,
and Mae West,
the outspoken chickadee.

Is this the Hollywood people die for?
Is this the Hollywood
that mimics God
but is already too late
for any kind of saviour?

Everybody knows if Jesus
was coming out of the sky
he’d come to a place
where there weren’t so many actors
and so much damn sun.
But instead he’d go somewhere
tough & addicted & cold
& wet & buzzing
& real.

Everybody knows there’s no holy
in Hollywood.

Souvenirs of Love/ Ten for a dollar.

Drowning is necessary.
Sometimes black bottom, bossa nova, tango.
Cha-cha, samba, soft shoe, mambo.
Takes a lover with good rhythm
to soften your bones,
passion hotter
than an African diamond mine.
Any kind of lover can give you
Souvenirs of Love.

They’re just like poems.