Self-Portrait in Lust

Shakthi Shrima


Every morning the sun rises again, meaning there's something like a god
I could pray to, or curse. A hammer, too, must hit a nail over
          and over. What else could it do? Every spring the deer make new deer.
          A deer straddles my headlights. I don't swerve in time. Bodies

are always crashing into other bodies. I have never driven a car.
          I don't have to—steal a car into a daydream and some creature
          wheezes into view a second too late. The deer stops being

a deer. Sometimes its body is already splayed on the windshield
when I find the car. The viscera wander aimless, belonging to nothing
          after their escape from the skin's capture. My own innards hold hostage
          a library of pink, each shade an accident's evidence. I have stolen

so many colors. My eyes covet the sky's
          orange soprano, its runaway blue. I pocket a field's green
          for safekeeping. The field could be studded with a fever

of deer, but doesn't have to be. I am breathless but I don’t have to be.
My lip, bitten, could bleed a different blood. The deer gallop into the road
           because they are deer.  I wander into the sun of your body's wild
           machine. My body crashes into my body. There's no logic to this churning—

anything strewn in me could be my heart. I vulture myself when I touch you,
my stomach its own feast, my tongue a prayer for a tongue.