kris t kahn


and to think that after the rape the first thing i did was close the window.
behind the pane the sky ached to rain, a noticeably bruised sort of purple
overhead almost matching the color of plum, eggplant, my that body.
he ate me, like fruit, all the same. i closed the window and left for the light
outside, leaving the house behind, him, feeling i was a cowardly thief
as over the stone walkway i staggered, brittle, substanceless as smoke.

and that is the one thing which had been so unbearable: the smoke
steering its own way through the apartment, out the open window.
it had been able to free itself while i could not. at the mercy of a thief
what can one possibly do? i thought of things, i did, though the purple
laced glass i'd drank from distorted all thinking and also the bedside light
so that in the end nothing was clear, nothing at all. certainly not my body:

at the whims of a gone-mad Lothario. i felt nothing but the sting of a body
i felt sure was not my own, slamming into me. i smelled nothing but the smoke.
i thought in short spurts like a power outage or a flickering sodium vapor light.
what would a passerby think of the scene, should he happen by the window?
what would he think of this man, mad, ravaging me? he'd certainly see the purple
and almost empty glass upon the bedside table; see shadows of movement as the thief

stole into me, thrust after volatile thrust. he was not a quiet sort of thief
but rather moved with the grace of a sleek animal intent on devouring the body.
(when the Greeks pillaged cities they stole everything: emeralds, purple
amethysts. even the vanquished were theirs to plunder.) and trails of smoke
from a cigarette left burning in the ashtray flying freely through the window
to where the night lay oblivious beyond, pooling its own darkness into light

upon the street. had i been blindfolded i might have envisioned such light
behind closed lids, lost in a forced blackness. as it was i merely watched the thief
perform the siege, dissociated, a voyeur: violent shadows reflected in a pane of window.
i could not tell if his eyes were opened or closed, if he even knew that the body
beneath him had ceased its fight, had taken refuge instead in a silly flight of smoke.
and then suddenly it was over. a slow extraction. a pang of pain. and this sad purple

thing lying upon the mattress, the color of rotten fruit, so deeply purple
i did not know it for my own self as i rose and crossed the hallway. even the light
over the medicine cabinet revealed nothing i recognized. substanceless as smoke.
and what did i think of as i cleaned the crime off, as i listened to that bastard, that thief
move about the apartment? i thought of rot. i thought of the Greeks and of the body
perpetually mutilated at the whims of a victor. i thought to climb out the open window

but instead closed the window, letting the smell of blood out to embrace whatever light
the night might harbor and took the door, a harsh purple sky overhead as i quit that thief,
ruminating on my body, stuck there, denied escape, morphing into a slow stack of smoke.

Date of Birth: July 17, 1979
Location: New Jersey
Publications: The 2River View, Naked Poetry, The Cortland Review, Stirring, etc.
Chapbook: The Gospel According to Thomas
Editor of: Sometimes City

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