Mary Jane

Oh, Mary Jane,
your bitter, sweet taste
still lingers
in my mouth, as you curl
and dance from my drunken lips.

Your shapeless tongue licks
and tickles my nose,
like a saxophone reed
that vibrates sadly
inside this Paris tunnel,
on a sticky
August evening.

I hang on to you,
just to breathe you,
like the Lizard King breathed
poetry, like Elvis breathed
immortality;

not freely, but
in harsh,
sudden,
wonderful bursts
of ecstasy,
as you burn;

and oh,
how you burn,
and scratch
at the walls of my throat…
a poisonous angel, your wings scrape
across my brain.

We stroll among Kings tonight,
Kings who tumbled,
and laughed, and screamed
in this very tunnel,

but breath
no more.

~ by Samantha Lê

__

First published in Corridors

Copyright © 2001 by ​Samantha Lê
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form, without the prior written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please use the contact form.

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