Low-End Theory

Kendra DeColo

Love, I’m a musky vermouth, palm of discount 
stars, instruction manual for low-end vibrators

which is to say, my frequencies have slowed
down to the flutter of a junebug’s libido,

slow but steady, now that I’m with child
and cast my desires across the earth

like a plastic lure. I think the earth is obscene
sometimes, its jeweled ligaments and glands

bedazzled with poisons, designed to seduce
us into curated oblivions. I’ve been sober

five years and still don’t know what to do
with all this beauty, my serotonin receivers

cracked and humming. Even the news
playing on a deli’s small TV set is a pleasure

I will one day miss, how the blonde host’s
lips are opulent as bloodworms at low tide

shimmying under a full moon, and the footage
of protesters looks like believers frothing

to be sedated with holy touch, even the one
who carries a sign that says “If we killed fetuses

with guns, would the liberals care then?”
But I still can’t help thinking that someone

made this sign with their own hand,
that it’s possible to love an idea until

you forget what love means, and doesn’t
this light show of vitriol remind me

that I, too, am dissolving back into the earth,
that we are just pre-ejaculate glittering

on god’s ornate tip that will keep spurting
long after we’re gone? Let me love

even this anchor asking, don’t all lives
matter. Let this love be enough

to keep me going, trudging through
a spectacle that shimmers like shit

flecked with gold, a rancid honey
whose sweetness obliterates as it shines.