David Arroyo

Together, We Are Monsters

My film is not a dream. 
It is a giallo birthed from a Hammer film. 
British cleavage blood-drenched in Italian fantasy. 
Dubbed English heightens the unreality
of me, former Puerto Rican altar boy, 
looming behind you, white girl.
You. Turn.    
Out of lips synced too precisely to my libido
you purr, “I never try anything. I just do it.” 
A quiet bang 
spreads across my mind 
in thick viscera. 
I do not know who the monster is. 
There is a rusty gleam, 
smearing over this flick like a money shot,
gratuitous, just shy of pornographic. 
Unless, a person can feel pornography.
My deepest rape fantasies 
intertwining with my sticky heart strings in a tangled, 
messy 
scream 
for you.  

There are many questions posed in my scream, a bouquet: 
venus fly traps, triffids, flowers that inhale moonlight. 
Why can’t I love with sobriety? 
How do I work through embracing my nightmares doggystyle? 
Why can’t I convince you I’m a risk worth taking?  
Did the first two questions answer the third? 
“I want to carry you off to my Black Lagoon.”  
What would you do with this truth?

Compress the questions down my throat like coal. The result:
not a diamond for an Adam’s apple but a puzzlebox. 
The solution is speech, 
but these hallelujahs are for The Scarlet Gospels 
according to Clive Barker. 
It is his angels, 
leather-strapped Cenobites,
I’ll call forth. 
They have such sights to show us,
and they would make deals with me. 
Finally, I’d bend you to my will, and throwing my 
soul to Leviathan is small price, 
but the questions would still be questions
stalking my cobwebbed halls in a porn-shaped zombie of you,
hardly the love poem I had in mind, 
so I forsake the best of all possible
hells for intellectual torture porn. 
Pinhead is disappointed. 
Writhing coffins for two cannot compete 
with my need to be a student of you. 
I’d rather be caught staring into your cleavage, 
possessed by a male gaze, 
riding the sight line to the sin line 
in hopes of finding something less human 
housing a moment of honesty with whatever
Transylvania lurks
under your full moon flesh — 

But hell is full of rebels and compulsive explorers. 
Pinhead turns my gaze to the souls raised and struck down, 
raised and struck down in Styxxxian pools:
flaming liars, cheats, the insatiable kindred spirits. 
I see black sabbath tears,
and black tears congeal into a viscera that never lies or cheats. 
The triple x pools sated as the bottom of a lake full of the dead. 
Questions sink like concrete boots,
and the dead hate the living.

The answers rise when the visceral bodies 
popsicle into a black monolith on water’s skin:
Together, we are monsters. 
Bride of Frankenstein, blonde hair like a bishop’s mitre streaked 
with wild cotton, it is not you I fear, it is me, my weakness, 
my inability to make you feel this heart, hung 
from the tallest gallows by The Puritans and love it.

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