From Ampersand Revisited
I thought no one would ever surpass Jillian, when she came
for two hours,
inside our dorm room,
describing it afterwards simply as, The universe fucked me.
It seemed awfully generous of the universe, & I was surprised,
since I had assumed
it could only climax inside a sonata, or a prime number
as long as your arm,
that true ecstasy was the pleasurable depression
of a Vermeer.
She didn’t touch herself once—just held relatively still on my bed
while we watched from across the room
in the dark, somewhat afraid.
She said that when you take acid, you are instantly
though really you have forty minutes
before you see something unhealthy & stunning, like
a chromatic glimmer
around your gaze.
That night, she would also bloody her hand against concrete
because it felt so good,
but that was just a special effect.
This was serious. This required breath control.
She was majoring in philosophy of music, & had just spent
reading forty pages of Hegel
with a professor who spoke so slowly
we thought he had a very useful form of brain damage.
When she played Chopin, it made a blue ruin inside my head,
& I wanted
to breathe Here
it is written at the end of every measure, even though it clearly
That night, under full sail, she had to
kick the trunk of a mimosa tree & bellow at it
out of some
so it seemed pointless every week
for our theory class to erase the forehead of the sexless mannequin
that stood for
the dear reader, you, & I,
& to pretend that a formula writ small on a piece of blotter paper
& a very large & unfocused idea
couldn’t make a girl scream.