Jules Gibbs

Corpse Messaging

Six heads roll onto the dance floor in Tijuana
to say something about
saying something.
If we read it right motion
is the snitch —the noise says stuff
our mouths don’t, like, tell me for real:
when I dance
like this, do my hips look big?
Do my deltas seem fitful
at six cycles per second?
In the air of narcocorridos I can’t hear
what you’re saying, our word sink
in oceanic time, a heart-beat beat-down
that makes me want you to want me:
so hard. You swerve, hip and skull,
but between us a straight line
grips. Death can’t mess
with us. Motion is noise.
Noise is sex.
Eventually even the terror
becomes hysterical. Texts delivered
on whipped-raw backs, limbless torsos, severed
—ah, but enough of this!
Six heads roll onto a dance floor
in Tijuana and you go:
Joke: —These guys, they’re no-bodies
and I go: I’m no-body — who are you?
It’s possible we’ve been
desensitized —you get what you don’t
deserve — the love (like the dollars and cristal)
is a sterile dust that will float away
on the wind, ride the thrust
of an ocean stream while we stay
put, marry ourselves. The losses
(but not the lost) wash back
to shore, get reabsorbed
into the continental shelf.
We thank their (missing) bones
for new intelligence about the silver
trail-lines we don’t know we spin. Our movement
responds in ways we can’t control
to the irritated corners where La Familia men
take note: los malosos… los otros…. anything
might re-up the violence; an inside joke
that ricochets from my body
(body) to your body (body)
could be skewed as collusion.
So I dance like I want to have at least six
of your fat, happy kids,
a bounty of replacement and abstraction.


Jules Gibbs
“Corpse Messaging” first appeared in Corresponding Voices, Spring 2011, Vol. 4.