Drive-in Double Dare
after Deborah Luster’s Rosesucker Retablo, III
In gravel dust and starlight, after the hummingbirds fell
in a necklace of two weights, there is no squinting here
in surround sound, in static at knife point,
or at least the broken branch written against the sky:
steeples and refuse, disconcerting signs—deer crossing,
ice—of the rides home. The woman is not distracted.
Her eyes molt, she licks the trembled feathers
still moistening her lips. The microphone, in profile,
howls, last cry of the first death, scene
collapsing my inner ear with night crawl.
Rote memory is the error of your salvation.
Kiln-dry in a small crack, testament breaching
the windshield. Whistle through not a whistle, song
to beguile the hummingbirds from her breasts—
rupture of bone, unknown; tools of relic weed, given;
and this the holier endeavor than the sulfurous jigsaw air
I Spy in the side mirror, I sing, in the breath
of the steelplant I sing, retracting the tailfin etchings,
ballast of blazing tongues, and their duplicate lifting heads,
miniscule pestle of breeze. The birds lullaby and they flense.