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A Map of Stars

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When Lucifer takes you
He takes you completely: mind, body, and soul
Through the lens of a camera
A flashbulb pulsating
Off the cold, indifferent heavens
Spinning on their axis
And tracing constellations
Across the dome of the tower

Across the hood of a fast car
A candy-apple red phallus on wheels
The boy who brought you here
Who cajoled, seduced you here
Undoes himself
Touches himself, tangled in his own hair
Like blood, electric
Arcing with every pop and sizzle of the bulb
Winking itself out of existence

It pounds beneath him
Into him
The beat of destiny
Or the End of the World
Up his inseam
In every seam in the road
In every throaty rip, the gunning of the engine
Accelerating, like dark matter
Rippling outward
Toward the edge of the universe
And the twilight of the gods:

The world's shell shattered and the unconquered son
The prodigal sun
Emerged from his lotus bud
Arrives savior to the restless
The Midgard Narcissus of the awakening soul
His hand around his own phallus
And his tongue a flame
His hand upon his staff of power

And the seat of consciousness—
In the bouncing of a bicycle seat
Or the cantilevered motion of the peddler
Vibrating through your shoulder blades
Vibrating through your pelvis
Vibrating up
Through everything you are
It is the Judas kiss upon your lips
It is the pistoning that moves the world

On a crinoid-shell axis
Round a map of stars
Down a lamp-lined street round a fountain of eternity
Procreative sterility
Pure and profane
And an endless dream in three looped acts
An endless play of memories lost
Rewritten histories
And mutual masturbation

When Lucifer takes you he does so indirect
Through the touches of your worst enemy
Your only friend
The one who laughs at you for believing there is such a thing as
Real, honest-to-goodness friendship
Let alone love
Even as it impales you
As he whispers in your ear
Promises of a world to come
Where dreams will come
To just you two

But the Morning Star already took him
Replaced his soul with a promise
Of liberation
From a reality of faithless illusion
You bare your flesh and he bares your heart
Lays straight all that is in it while
Silver spokes flash and turn
He traces your meridian
Catching fingers
In the fly of your trousers

The window to your soul
Letting in butterflies with every breath
Perfumed with poisoned flowers that
Never wilt
So he might fellate you with his words
Fuck you with his reason
And leave the taste
Of the End of the World

In the back of your mouth
Not enough to intoxicate you
Too much to leave you immune
And the motor rumbles beneath your spine
Ripples down your nerves
Numbing you
With every violating stop and start
What kind of friend, you ask, would do that?

—is what he will say
To justify why
He should treat you this way
As though to prove your unfailing loyalty
When he's already betrayed you
Made a fool of you
A thousand times for the devil
Behind the camera
Behind the map of stars
Who pulls the strings
That unfold you like a cereus blossom
Petal at a time

Unfolding to night
From the dried, cracked brown ribs
Of some grotesque cactus plant
On the hood of his car
On a school night
On that warm, glossy scarlet
Stained only by a Milky Way
Of adolescent glory
And with the promise of a climax

Holy of holies
Orgasm of orgasms
End of all ends
Where writ in the spilled constellations is
Someone else's name
While that devil promised the universe
Would shudder for you
And the shutters
Captured you for himself

Valentine's Day, 2007.