Poem: Basquiat

(a young artist who died
of heroin addiction)

this needle tells me
bedtime stories
as the pillow
swells my comfort
with this liquid caramel
slipping under my covers,
touching me here
in the crook of my arm,
a seduction leading
to kisses and fingers
between these thighs
between my eyes

i watch
the mad hatter
play solitaire on my bed,
in my head,
ring around the rosie lullabies
rocking me to sleep,
keeping me awake,
i follow my tracks
to a holiday in Paris
without ever leaving home

my hollow reflection
in the mirror
makes me giggle,
so i paint my ghosts
with joker smiles
and freedom guiles,
i am drooling,
i am schooling
the children i will never have
in the art of dying
with a monkey on your back.

April Cheri 6/97 : published in PIF Magazine


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