Laura Palmer floated up all wrapped in secrets.
The diarist was torn from Hell between Bobby
Briggs and Snake, a strapless paperback
negligee in the grips of a boy
and an older man who thought Laura a thing to play,
a homecoming queen touched
by the devilish one. And Teresa Banks touched
a year before, Teresa Banks’ secret,
plastic water-pruned nude, a bruised bitch played
like a restrained hand unrestrained, a girl robbed
of her filmy white dress, taken to Hell in back
of a truckstop at the end of the line by the boy
BOB shattered into erotic slivers, the boy
who as a man came to Laura’s bedroom to touch
the hem of the monster he created, fighting back
the urge to pull the secret
over his own head, like the plastic bag BOB
gave Leland Palmer to play
with on his eighth birthday. BOB played
with the bag. BOB played with the boy.
The boy played with the bag and the boy played with BOB.
BOB taught the boy to touch
beneath the plastic, beneath the secret,
or else he-knew-what: BOB would come back.
And all these years later BOB had come back,
but this time he wanted to play
with Laura, Leland’s secret
prize, the possession he suspected of affection for a boy
at school, or worse, a one-armed man touching
the tenderest part of the wound. It was BOB
who burned the cut-red scab, BOB
who took the tortured tattoo back,
removing limbs’ liability, the ability to touch
the tongue of God, a taunt to play
with torment, to firewalk a boy
into secret manhood, a girl into a secret.
“Can you keep a secret, Bobby?”
Laura asked, her back to the boy
she played, the boy she touched (with fire).