Leon spray paints his name
on buildings all over Manhattan,
LEON...... LEON..... LEON
Adds a crucifix underneath,
the color of the sun's belly.
No-one has ever seen him.
Some call him God's messenger.
Others say he's just crazy.
Sara dresses in black, pretends
she's an artist, flattens her breasts
with duct tape til they look
like IHOP pancakes, thinks this
means she'll be taken more seriously
She paints pink roses.
Pink roses grow out of Bill
Clinton's fly. Pink roses rise
from monkey butts. She sold a rose
poking from Donald Trump's nose
to an old lady in the Bronx, Sara's
price for giving directions.
Sara never meets Leon, but passes
his crucifixes one day. Inspired,
she runs to her flat, paints a crucifix
on her belly in florescent pink,
opens her shades, dances in the window
nightly for one week. Exactly.
The Salome of Greenwich Village.
A man sinks to his knees beneath her window.
It's a sign, he says. Gives up sex for Lent.
Holds onto his head , avoids knives.
His wife soon leaves for her mother's.
Sara closes her shades,
drinks cool tea,
dreams of roses strangling
the Empire State Building.
Leon spray paints the Empire State dome,
finds himself thinking, oddly, of roses,
has strange cravings for pancakes,
lathered in nipple-pink molasses.
This poem was published in the Spring 2005 issue of MiPo quarterly.