Welcome To Washington Heights

The pimp is my manager,
He says he is my Fantasy;
He says I like it when he hits me,
This is not make believe.

When I was six or seven,
I dreamt of fairy castles,
Now I bleed three times a week
And take my alcohol.

I find comfort in his violence,
That’s what he said I thought;
Trouble doesn’t have a pitch,
I don’t associate with people

Any more, but him.
I must be happy for clients,
I am a Texan cargo train,
I am the Houston skyline.

He gives me warnings
Not to go on the run,
Sometimes punches me too much.
A room incarcerates

With sheets of shallow pink
And I think there they all go
On the freeway with
Their health insurances

And bungalows with lawns
Neatly mown; in time their cars
Turn on these headlamps,
Light up the furthest wall.

Night Owl

Thank you for your photograph,
Passport-sized, white frame,
On the reverse side in red ink
You wrote your name and
Number. The image I received
On the spine of a silently
Howling owl in a dream
Last night I placed beneath
My pillow and in a dream
Within a dream you emerged
From the portrait large as life,
Your lipstick as red as the ink,
A deep red, deep as blood in
The whales stampeding through
The caves of my sleep searching
For their calves already hauled
Onto the harpoon-stationed
Entrail-made slippery deck
Of hail-harried vessels in
The steep Pacific breaches.

You gestured to me not to speak,
Finger over your lips and I was
Transfixed. I watched you
Carefully, devotedly, as you fell
Asleep in a red dress, your blonde
Hair falling over your eyelids and
Your nostrils and I reached to
Brush those beautiful strands away
When your mouth opened and
An alarm fell out and I woke
Sweating, and drowning, as
A refuse collection vehicle
Reversed outside my apartment.