TRISTAN'S MOON

The Moth

I have never met a whore -- male or female -- who didn't regard their tricks with barely hidden contempt. The boys hated the men who fucked them.


a cloak ripped through with holes

lollipop, lollipop, o lollilolli pop/ in the old daze/ we called her lollipop/ we still call her lollipop/ as a whore she was a complete failure/ lollipop had a mantra: i've never been fucked, i never will get fucked, and i have no intention of getting fucked right here right now/ she'd blow you though/ hookers live in the world/ lollipop was a lesbian/ most hookers are lesbians, they hate men/ i have never known a hooker who was not abused/ not one/ lollipop was the whore the other whores gave their kids to/ there was always a drama in lollipop central/

one day, she picked up her brood and moved the lot of them to the country/ no one knew where she got the money for the land and for the house which was a wreck but it was a house/ there have always been kids running around that place/ big ones, little ones/ most hookers show up (eventually) to get the kid back (if the kid wants to go back)/ but some do not/ lollipop has dogs, too/ whole place is a kennel/ i do not know how lollipop does it/ i do not want to know how lollipop does it/ some things are dangerous to know/ i do not know what anyone grows up there or where they grow it/

i called the kid the moth and the moth was going to lollipop's/ the moth just resigned himself to the idea that superman really was a suicide after all/ no mom, no nothing/ i gave him a ride around the motel parking lot on the bike/ he tried to smile/ but as a smile goes, this one failed the smile test/ do not ask me about the bike/ i will not explain/ i have no business being on a bike/ but there it is/ in fact, the only time i ever feel alive, is on a motorcycle/

i let him wear my helmet for a while/ i like the helmet, he said/ he might have loved and lived among the birds in the trees/ all his victories had been from town to town/ his appearance was handsome enough but his story was a lip bit-through with a blowtorch/ but you could take me, the moth claimed/ reread the instructions on the cereal box, kid/ an old guy and a young both with aids take on a kid the size of a kindergarten rug rat/ i'm mad but i'm not that mad/ the world hates my guts as it is/

the world had not shrunk to fit this kid/ this kid's whole universe leaked blood everywhere/ my mother, my whore (now, there's a book title) had left him hanging/ worn out by whores into the threadbare child he had become/ the dividing line between lucidity and darkness IS suicide/ superman's death had diminished us all for as long as we would live/

i live in too many different worlds/ the truth is that all our lives and the guts that come with those lives are split wide open at any given time/ the truth is that we are all salvaging survival from the loud pitch of loneliness and one very crowded wire we line up on/ one crow at a time/

when it came time to go, the moth just clung to my leg/ but you're not coming back, he said/ it was an accusation/ i have been licked clean of pain behind the shoulder-blades/ your mom could turn up, you know/ you doubt it, the moth said/ i did, too/

the moth’s mother was recently fired from her executive position as a stripper in a totally nude lap dance joint/ ME: How did you get fired. It’s a bad time to lose your job/ My teeth are rotting out of my mouth. They don’t like that/ Me: No shit/ She’s HIV. She’s (what else) a single mother. Got to make the rent/ Rent is dummy dust/ forget the rent/ forget the kid as well/ “It cries a lot,” she claims/ back in high school, she had been artistic/

we stand naked in the landscapes of pure necessity/ i stood transparent in front of this boy/ he drew his small body up and sobbed/ the bridges are not non-partisan/ the thorns i cannot absorb into my flesh, i try to keep at a safe distance/ he will become dangerous whirling down other streets/

i had this one friend, a chick who otherwise i kinda thought of as hip enough, who said i should go to the cops to find the moth's mom/ just go to the cops/ whores do not just go to the cops/

in this particular community which prides itself on family values, the real statistics are staggering/ here’s the reality: 90% of every child in the system here who makes it to the age of 18 will be in prison before they are age 19/ 90% which is obviously almost all of them/ they’re in rest areas/ they’re in truck stops/ they’re in whorehouses and shooting galleries and meth labs/ to be in foster care means you are going to prison/ how many of them are HIV by the age of sixteen/ 42%/ 42% of kids in foster care before the age of 16 will get HIV/ they will enter prison infected/ how many of that 42% will have a history of sex work/ 98% of the 42% will have that history/ in other words, almost all kids in foster care go to prison and by then half will be infected/ and 90% infected from unsafe sex with tricks/ we fail them by the boatload/ we fail almost all of them/

just go, lollipop said/ i was set to/ i even made it to the door/ i turned around/ i told the moth that if he would promise to remember me, he could have the helmet/ he crossed his heart and hoped to die/ it looks ridiculous on him/ but with that helmet he is a hit with all the other kids/ we are all selves withheld/ i got back on the bike and met up with the younger of us at the next motel/ we went out to a stupid bar called timber cove/ there was no timber and there is no cove/ there are only tequila shots and limes/ superman killed himself/ he was a fuck and a disappointment to many and his mother was a hooker from chicago/ life is an accident and a cloak ripped through with holes/

the videoclips that come in from the moth’s mother are as tweaked as Drano/ they burn/ she sees everything/ her life is all over the place/ girlfriends and the middle of the road/ she will do you for a sparkle/ catch the veins/ mainly she hides them/ HIV would be tore from the floor up/ my writing this is a speaking to her/ i will work with the clips you are sending me/ i said show me your life and you are/ obviously, you want to do this/ i only have one request/ no more Smurf Dope for the moth/ he’s not a spaceman, Sugar, he’s a little boy/ if i see him on any of your shit, i will become your worst nightmare/ and be careful what you film around the BoyBangers you live with/ it gets worse, you know/ I would also suggest (and I will be on your case about it) you get the moth tested/ if your next question is going to be — and I know it will be — are there HIV meds for little boys, let us save some time here because the answer is yes. but, tread carefully/ they could take him from you/ but if you don’t get him tested, you may be condemning him to a death sentence/ Putcher moonboots on, girl, you have work to do. Show me your life/
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