Look once: and it’s her fingers that pull you in the absence of them, how they’ve disappeared within her, splitting her body like reeds at the river’s lips. Bantu Knotted American Queen, pedestaled at the top of the canvas. Spill of red paint, blue drip of stars pooling the foot of the nation.
Look again: not a clit but a book that occupies the hand and you smile at how easy it is to mistake one pleasure for another membrane for membrane twin yearnings for the flesh-spit of knowledge for after all, to know (in the biblical sense) is to let the sweet waters run down down the slope the purple mountains.
Stare until the painting becomes a mirror until you are sixteen again in your room with Jimi Hendrix plastered on the wall like a saint. You are clutching a book blotting the ink with your sweaty palms shoving the words into your mouth practicing, repeating, drilling an American accent sloughing the saltwater off your tongue speaking yourself into disappearance.
And you would have disappeared were it not for the pussy’s pages how turning them lit the tunnel into yourself, to the books that could only be read in salt and seaweed, and the touch that made you crave your own dark scent. What tiny stars you are, spilling.