from Zero Copula

Zhou Sivan

Portrait of a Lady

Who dreams of Medea and her many endings dreams on
the morose banks of eternity. Come, what is, what may
be the faithful pigment of malice = melas in Greek time?
Petals of impetuous feet of fetus laughing. Clytemnestra,
your lips are hatchet grey, but your laughter breastfeeds
beehives into tears of honey. Breathe. Your baby's name
will never be téknon. Even as his green fingers flutter on
your lymph nodes of desire, beware of his boneless gums.
The Furies will have adjudicated, but before it's too late,
quell your heartache, push your swimming son upstream
to your womb where whorls of whirling dervishes scatter
Athena's scant fingerprints, the story of to-be to be made.
The pendulum of abortive guilt. But whose queen are you
when he's smothered dead? Myth engenders him, and he,
Her. In the drawing room, M sings of the fire that unravels
Penelope and her loom. The emperor's new clothes burnt;
egg crates that coddle me, with prim bursts of slime green
that touch, unsex my homecoming. If the seesaw's ghost
slouches over Bethlehem in revenge, the lady saws open
her head and impregnates herself. Beggar not, a handmaid.

Avinguda del Diletants

If every year the drummer boy-statue of sleepy El Bruc
slides down his pedestal and scares Napoleon's troops,
a diplomatic crisis lies curated in every doll's heartbeat.
This town is no dissolute painting. It is an indissoluble
Oxford comma that Catalunya loves like a firm line break.
People take to the streets, bandy flags and Aesop's fables
burn as potently as ever, so the poetic essay remains true
arcane cheese in a mousetrap of dreams. But as dry pages
flap to the feverish sound of shrapnel, Jaume Huguet falls
asleep on his gothic canvas, as a child shameless sucks on
a bouquet of olives. The Nation: an amalgam of false starts!
Myth is a doctor yawning down a sheep's inflamed throat.
If he prefers the scent of rosemary on nanny goats, he will
justify his cultural bias to the end of the hermetic universe.
You write: to extend the shelf life of becoming, one must
replicate the drummer boy on the other side of the ocean.
Tonight, the full moon catches your crew smuggling rakia
and dried meat into Antarctica. You have planned a party
to appease the ministers, so your sculpture could set sail
safely from Ohio to Sofia, hidden in a dark stash of corn.

Wu Gui

If I kissed and told you: turtles were capsized birds,
would you pin my wings, and stop global warming?
You'd have had, in any case. Ah! If only I could hold
you up against the light of milk-bottle heirs, command
from rogue vagaries your colony to hose down holes
in our disposition, I will race down Bedok Reservoir
and caress your thousand red petals. As they peel from
your dragon, the dynastic wound, water broke the cells
of twenty-two warriors, and rain and crops rose from the
nozzle of drums. Of the almanac, sun and wind devised
your gender, but if we read rightly, any pharmaceutical
mercy would've confirmed a longer tail on the concave
lower shell. So curse the hurricanes that twin-lapped
your fortunes. That body dressed in silk, hurl it down
the river. Fishes feed and choke better on rice. But the
butterflies must die. And as you wait for rising seas, for
camel toes to grow gills, it must be rude for an albatross
to follow you. Mildly amphibious, you make a tortoise
out of your cardboard symptoms. At midnight, I drown
in your prickly sweat, divine mattress, flying petri dish.

All Dark

"Let's say about snakes, let's say about lice." That furry,
erect pagination of hope in your ill-fitting serge trousers.
Love is Margin's error. The effeminate tail which carries
overweight luggage, depositing dark necessities that flow
across some prodigious synapse, like a condensed Milky
Way cavorting with the Dao. You check your wristwatch:
can time defrock a millipede? The afternoon mist corrals
me. The beach is rain-worn, but also a sliced cantaloupe
dreaming of rain. It is all dark, culpable and febrile like
the sea's mounting flesh, for you are my son Telemachus
trying to string my bow, the breaded mills of vasectomy.
We will not share a dark lady, so I shake my head, "no."
Not anytime soon. The strapless music plays on, volatile
as the birth of ten suns. In the waiting room, you become
the mannequin shattering in a time lapse, with no formal
training in breathing technique. You sleep with an orange
flower to express your cynicism about marriage equality.
Before you suspect my holy esprit, here's the diagnosis:
Happiness is a dimple, light and familial. With apertures
for the suitors' blood, and many supplications for dawn.