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 malososlos 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.




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