I leave my bad girl signature behind
wherever I go: an earring, or a trace
of kohl black on a stranger’s pillowcase,
the perfect lip-print on a glass of wine.
Like any voodoo priestess, I’m just trying
to flex my mystic muscles, to enslave
that guy in every port who’ll know my face,
who knows we’ll walk away, neither crying.
And yet—for twenty years I’ve held the wish,
his heavy silver ring from Mexico
that still gets caught on lovers and my clothes.
What voodoo did he do me with that kiss?
He walked away and said he’d never feel a
thing again. Left me with my tequila.
Things happen when you drink too much mescal.
One night, with not enough food in my belly,
he kept buying. I’m a girl who’ll fall
damn near in love with gratitude and, well, he
was hot and generous and so the least
that I could do was let him kiss me, hard
and soft and any way you want it, beast
and beauty, lime and salt—sweet Bacchus’ pards—
and when his friend showed up I felt so warm
and generous I let him kiss me too.
His buddy asked me if it was the worm
inside that makes me do the things I do.
I wasn’t sure which worm he meant, the one
I ate? The one that eats at me alone?