Nameless City

“Nameless City,” mixed media, Clare L. Martin, 2016


“Each bone is a highway. Each organ’s a town on the map of the body.”

What is the nameless city
he has taken me to? In it,
we reside in a junky motel.
There is dust from the road
in my mouth when he bends
to kiss me for the first time.

I have played a pair of deuces, all in.
I have set the path
behind me on fire.
I’ve lived one black
dream after another
for this one desire.

twice to love—who knew?
Is it a miracle, or a dilemma of death?

He softly bites my tongue.
Takes me into a blissful prison.
He falls asleep with a .45
under the pillow.

The bathroom door hangs off hinges.
Ice melts in a cracked, plastic bucket.
Neon lights blister threadbare curtains.

All night it is like the sun is watching.
I decide to believe God doesn’t exist
but such belief is ineffectual.

How else would I have breathed
so long
outside of his arms?