The word BATHROOM is delicious. It begins in your mouth, feel the lips
Cinching like cochineal ribbons round a birthday basket.
Once you kiss out the start, the center gathers speed,
It rollerblades over the arterial bridge of the tongue
As it gently pats the molars. Then, there’s the finale—
Humming in the tonsils like an afterflavor.
Bathroom. Bathroom. It is decadent, sumptuous language.
Ask the lookouts,
Nothing’s diffident in the bathroom. Inquire
Of the feculent, comb-spangled floor of the quadruple shower,
Twinkling with taut, lukewarm wires of water.
Or the sex. Or the sergeant frenching commands through the window.
Or the floor-fan, roaring typhoon. That automaton covered in crud,
Posted like a bogus gargoyle to banish the moisture and black
Mold, its grotesque, yellow, hobgoblin bod bucking
And thundering against the floor, against the odds—it will never win.
The windows are always misty and dribbling.
The mirrors smoke themselves ambiguous—
In their world of blurry silver
There’s just you, vaporous, fading into the voracious nothing
As the floor fan goes on vomiting cacophony. It is
Identical to me . . . Pathetic tool. Dumb, jittering fool.
Its ludicrous ruckus gusting fallen pubes
To skitter and spin sprezzatura in the corner. Oh,
Prisons have been here forever, haven’t they?
I’ve seen so much in the bathroom. Joy.
Fuck the guards. Joy.
It all happens here; this is the world. Joy.
Carceral surreal in the pungent pungent pungent
Pungent pungent pungent bathroom. What do you miss,
By just looking in? The outlets, blown out and crested with scorch.
A hate crime, vividly lit: knuckles flexing through the loveliest face.
Pandemonium. Mockery. Non-democracy of harping and song.
Gladiators, ripe for the thrill. And us,
Untucking pills from the troughs of the cheeks that trucked them.
Amity. Priss. The word COCK tattooed in big, meandering blue
To its propermost part. Raunch. Paunch. Eking quality.
A book called Howl slumped like a dead dove in a urinal,
Peppered with mold and covered in bubbles. And men with baggy muscles
Doing hair and exploding
Like bombs of laughter. Boredom! Brush your teeth until they topple!
Hours! Oh punishment, I could sing this song for you until I’m an urnful.
I’ve sung this song for you for years. Pent it perpetual in the hull of my lungs,
What other could I name it but a song? Tell me,
My most beautiful
Years, is this what I’m given for calling you home? I cleaned and I left.
Oh giant world. Flying, romping world. My eyes
Are wet: experience stupidly pretends to knowledge. It’s hard to deal with duality,
Now that I’m hence. When someone says, “Abolish all prisons,” I understand
Illness and succulence. I know: Heaven is fallen, flung to the earth, wretched,
And still swamped with saints. I say, “Yes. Yes.” And the words emerge decayed.