Rigoberto González

The Mortician’s Mortician

You have always appreciated the beauty of supine men: torsos suppressing the fat
and keeping the configuration of muscle; faces that flatten tissue into Roman stone.
The last time you straddled your lover you wished for clay instead of flesh, not to mold
but to fire in the kiln and match the brown of your predecessor’s skin. The dead
mortician should have been buried without a casket—his body fertile as the soil.
You imagine the complete seduction of the earth by the heart that burrows a path
like a mole to the core. When you dress him, whatever charm he possesses
cannot be touched because its strength is his touch. You press his hand to your bare
breast, press his mouth to yours. You have slept with reluctant men like this, refusing
to concede affection, pretending to be dead until the moment of explosion, and even then
they keep their eyes and lips sewn shut. The tweezers lift the mortician’s eyelid
just as you wished to have done with even those who dress themselves and leave.
You will pinch every inch of his body and tug at every hair from nostril to toe.
By dawn, you will have spent more time with this man than with all the other men
put together, many no more alive than this beauty of a male. How it hurts to cut
him open, damaging the symmetry of his belly. The navel, a tiny basin for the tip
of the tongue. When your hands push through the tissue, your clitoris throbs, knowing
you have touched the mortician like no other has. You push farther in and sigh.
What a surprise: diamonds instead of kidney stones. A dance embroidered with the red
and blue lining guides your sticky fingers across the graceful walls of entrails.

Rigoberto González
Poem, copyright © 2004 by Rigoberto González
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2004, From the Fishouse