Monday, September 3, 2018

Cocktails with Orpheus by Terrance Hayes

Cocktails with Orpheus

After dark, the bar full of women part of me loves—the part that stood 
naked outside the window of Miss Geneva, recent divorcée who owned 
a gun, O Miss Geneva where are you now—Orpheus says she did 

not perish, she was not turned to ash in the brutal light, she found 
a good job, she made good money, she had her own insurance and 
a house, she was a decent wife. I know descent lives in the word 

decent. The bar noise makes a kind of silence. When Orpheus hands 
me his sunglasses, I see how fire changes everything. In the mind 
I am behind a woman whose skirt is hiked above her hips, as bound 

as touch permits, saying don't forget me when I become the liquid 
out of which names are born, salt-milk, milk-sweet and animal-made. 

I want to be a human above the body, uprooted and right, a fold 
of pleas released, but I am a black wound, what's left of the deed.


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