Self-Portrait as Teakettle

I mistake paint for pain, reading in bed
by flashlight, a ghost self-exiled, confused
gradually by what colors the living,
their resistance, the indelible fictions they
seek to master. I see bloody gums and split,
catfaced tomatoes overripe in the August sun.
A dog chasing after something in a dream.
I see my face in the bathroom mirror, thinking
about the red metal belly resting alone
on its element down the hallway in the kitchen.
How the object waited, static, while the rooms
shifted and shuddered, depending on the day,
the night, the palm of our love pressing,
pushing, as though the home were a body.
The devil is only a man, waiting
for other men to fail. A fist thrown against
a wall, the single foxglove dripping with rain
beside the garage. And the happiness, don’t
forget the happiness. The goddamn,
fucking happiness. Now here, at the bottom
of the world, dismantling myself slowly
so that I may be nothing, may need nothing.
The locked lid of my flesh, untouchable,
aching with delight or something like
loneliness as the foehn breeze glides across
me in the night. The look on your face
when you realized you could take
none of it back. How the past ran, horrified,
leaving two strangers to turn out the lights.