Annie Sauter

     Inspired by Frida Kahlo's color-palette
The black hand of night 
Heart in center, arteries 
And veins
Continuously severed 

Yet the color remains 
Red as the blood 
Stains from some other 
Late night splatter 
All over. My door . Covered now 
With dabs of primer : Killz 

White and toxic as any other 
Fungicide or mildicide , as its
Wall of genocidal terror, spurs on

I close the window 
To the relentless moths--
Which like the rodents, they say
This year
Have made infestation. They rob
My floors of crumbs
Play my lampshades
Like the stretched skins of dead peacocks, 

And we are here-listening to the beat
Despite snapped 
Traps, and open doors

Ah well, we say, just a gateway. The
Doorway to us going 
All moth to flame

Rhetorical with questions
And rolling on the foam of 
Sly commentary 

About old lovers.
Long gone. Some dead, And there 

We stay, we remaining

As sick-scented as the 
Low VOC paint, disguised as 
Residue . Slow and sticky we are rolled 
Into my walls. 

In drunken
Flutters, powders, drips. We go down
Taking turns

At swinging the PVC light saber
At anything 

That moves, or doesn’t:

We kind of knew we should have used
Copper pipe. But
We contemplate the spinning PEX

As a circular. As an orbit much more cosmic.

My bathroom is in need of flux: It is a veritable killing floor
A threshing room, where 

We deconstruct 

With screw and nail, taped 
To each other: Tentative
As a boiled frog 

We roll. We roil

We wonder, but not too much


This hot water. Is it good?

How does it feel 
My lover ? Should we 
Get out
, I ask

While we still can walk ?

Or succumb to the seduction 
Of the slow boil , the heat
Of some damn eternal flame red as

Maybe? It is 2 am.

So, I put the garbage in an empty 
Clothes hamper. hey, yeah, it is plastic
But it has a lid. That functions. I am not 
Driving it to the dumpster to dodge a mouse.

And we live in a land of mice, of
Rodents , moths, and bears
Oh my! But, 

I will sleep well in the cold anyway. Windows 
Wide. Open. Dead as only the dreamless

Sleep. Aware, that I am 

Just like any other sort of bait.
--Which surely is so . 

And willingly go under.

ANNIE PETRIE (SAUTER) is a written and spoken word poet. She started writing in the 1960s for the underground press in NYC and Berkeley. She helped start Bright Hill Press/ Word Thursdays in upstate NY in the 90s. She has performed and been published at multiple venues including NPR. She has two books and has been in many anthologies.