Home > Poetry > Erato in Hollywood
Published: Sat Oct 15 1994
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
Erato in Hollywood

Plain purple t-shirt torn open,
Front-closing lace-front bra, unsnapped.
Red canvas espadrilles shoved in
Soft mud with blood almost black.

Belt loose of all but one belt loop.
Ratted hair trapped in wet bunches.
Hips small but arched like a roof
Raised by sharp stones at her haunches.

Bruises where a blue windbreaker’s
Arms are pulled tight at her neck.
Upper arms broken in places
Exposed as she tried to deflect

More blows. Contusions on cheekbones.
Blood smear across lower spine
Fingers of right and grasp at stones
And four quarters form a vague line.

Here to the road. Broken teeth, mud.
Underpants intact: no semen,
No stray pubic hair, no skin rubbed
Raw, but a saliva specimen

Dries on her still-extended
Left middle-finger as if
She wiped her lips as it ended
And flipped the camera off as she went stiff.

See what's inside AGNI 40

Daniel Bosch is director of the Writing & Publishing program at Walnut Hill, a high school for the arts in Natick, Massachusetts. (updated 7/2009)

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