Jason Bredle

Sexperts everywhere agree: I am not
having enough sex. With people who are not
myself. As I walk through the spandex district

toward Pedro Almodóvar's party,
I recall the final words of our brilliant overlord
the Robert Zimmerman: O, ye may

crucify me, Romans, but I assure you
that I shall rise again and you will feeleth
my all-mighty wrath, be suffocated

by centuries of blood from my father's sky!
Amen. Words to live by, some
would say. Somewhere in the air I smell

the summers of my childhood, remember
how, at twilight, the prairie tigers would descend
upon the valley as if guided by blood

and heat. I buried my cat in this heat,
a cat who had once forgotten her own cat,
stillborn, under some wet leaves.

Years later, sector eleven officials
would sluice our valley for weekenders down
from the city who would ski over our high school

parking lot, our cats' graves, our Presbyterian
church where sexperts agree I had enough
sex, unpleasant as it may have been. Sluicing

the queue, as Christian Wiman would say.
I ended up in Mexico City. White roses
in black water. The Robert Zimmerman once

called this "away running from."
But from what? In Blood on the Tracks,
the Robert Zimmerman tells us to await

his words, that one day man will rideth
upon great "flying machines" and eat scrumptious
"pretzels." Here, at twilight, the prairie tigers

descend upon the valley as if guided by blood
and heat. I am walking through the spandex
district as if guided by blood and heat,

toward Pedro's house, a magnificent modern
spectacle overlooking the valley. I hope
Gael Garcia Bernal will be there, I think,

not noticing the glowworms around me.
Nature's lanterns, says the Robert Zimmerman.
At Pedro's party, I will drink many

strawberry-blueberry twisties and, afloat
upon my own patriot-hued pool of absurdity
and despair, meet Gael Garcia Bernal.

On the balcony overlooking the valley,
I will note the breeze, the cold, distant lights,
the hushed noise of machination. I will color

my eyes with black marker, I will swallow
the glass of dead insects. I will remember
driving through this valley with you, the prairie

tigers descending all around us, at twilight.
The school of motioning and screaming,
the school of blood and knives. The Robert

Zimmerman once said, harken, you dare
questioneth me? The Robert Zimmerman? I
shall cutteth you open and wear your skin

to a party hosted by a Spaniard overlooking
the valley of dead mangroves. I shall drink
many strawberry-blueberry twisties, and,

on the balcony, note the breeze, the cold,
distant lights, the hushed noise of machination.
I shall color my eyes with red marker,

I shall swallow the glass of insects. The prairie
tigers will descend, in search of blood.
Sexperts everywhere agree: sexperts are immortal.

They live forever. They say that seeing
a dead body is a passage into adulthood. Am I
good enough to go to heaven? The decade

before Cortés arrived, we all knew we would die.
Sector eleven officials had boiled our lake,
flooded our homes, destroyed our Presbyterian

church. When our king looked into the mirror-bird,
he saw nothing but black roses in white
water. Nothing but terror, nothing but suffering.