“Love cuffs” by Nosferatu, adapted by Pat Jones




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Last night, I resurrected Bettie Page:
a raven wig with bangs, a rocket bra,
stilettos, fishnets, gloves — the whole nine yards.
But looks aren’t everything. I hoped to cage
the joy she had, that wide-eyed I’m on stage
and having fun.
With every picture, rigged
for camp, the hair brush held on high, the pig
well-trussed, there was no shame, no fear, no rage.

My friends can rule their dungeons, tighten cuffs
until they burn if that’s their pleasure, but while
you smile in sleep beside me (it’s a bluff),
your studded collar glints and unbruised thighs
tempt my timid heart to play. The sun
barks Time for work! but I quickly draw the shade,
then crack my whip and take it retrograde.