[Luke drinks water and I contemplate] [A prayer for God, from a godless]
from another riverbed
down from tributaries that bore me
only this time
the delineation is unclear
where i started
which carries the way I have gone.
— — —
Before I summit the mountain,
myself and tomorrow,
of my footprint in the earth
and my depth immeasurable,
allow me some small Hope dear God
that my climb
will carry me
the way I have gone.
I belly up on the surface,
and float like weeds,
off to the walks and into a tree,
like one of those virgins I used to study.
I clench my fist — that’s the heaven I’d hoped for.
Behind every door,
the glass smells like dust,
the impregnable boards,
bodies grown back into the earth:
I who lived in a harbor from which I loved you,
I must not die of pity. I must live!
To mind or near it, ever rocking,
and stand and gaze with eyes that do not name.
Why struggle a net that tightens?
Only when promises get too weary
Do I laugh like a child saying the world.
My father on the other end,
he asks how you’re doing,
you take a breath, half naked in your room,
it’s 8PM and you haven’t turned a light on,
you fell asleep as the sun rose, and awoke as it set,
you feel the timing is fitting, you’re laying
under the blanket, you sat up when he called
so he doesn’t hear the melancholy in your voice,
but he heard it anyway, like a faint whisper,
and so he asked about you and after catching
your breath you rub your eyes with one hand
and say the words that come reflexively, the
words that cast a spell upon your insides, the
words that form the dam between you and your father —
you say, I’m fine.
From around you, the spaces tighten, the air slowly leaves, you’ve been here before, but the knowing never prepares you; it turns its back on you, your chest heats up, shoulders ache, a piercing pain surprises you even though you saw it coming, you’re breathing through a tangerine within a deep green country, the leafless trees have only shadows and long lanky figures stand underneath, you are kneeled, breathing deeply through overworked lungs, deeper, deeper, deeper hoping you’ll quench that burn in your chest, the incandescent pupae upon your lung, embering and fluttering like nascent butterflies before a sweeping rain.
I desire simply to feel significant,
eyes squinted, kiss-warm, the day
refusing to carry on without me.
the sun shimmies behind a cloud,
emerges again, an old friend
shining before the lake, in love
with reflections, the conduits
of It and I and You and We and the lizards
and phantasms and sculptures;
the circuits, the glass, the wizards,
the man whose name I hear called
but do not turn to look, the shadows
the clouds cast on a windy day, the hands
that paint evening against the sky, leaving
only so long to look at the sun.
I couldn’t say exactly what hurts. Tomorrow I’ll
work with some letters that don’t interest me
and perhaps I’ll pass that class after all.
I’ll become a real person, all the while still
being that little boy in a sandbox of mobile homes,
hurricane shutters, the wharf by the pier, the golf course for Snowbirds,
the murder by the lake. I sat in the dark watching the fountain
bleed night after night, watching how familiar I looked out there,
pouring my contents again and again into the water.
Blooming on a temperate mountain,
I pluck your gem from the oranges ashes of your memory.
I bathe in the rivers of your affection,
drowned like a wayward faun. The Forests
encircle my vernal eyes and you become
the Oak’s shadow; my barefoot calamity tendered
by your equatorial touch — the embers
of a carnelian love burst like frigid lungs blossomed in the frost.
I have but frail human sight and see before my walled eyes
the murmuring blood of a hundred romantic beasts
and their queen drinking of my moon-like blood.
My mouth opens to speak
but only birds fly out.
They do not wait for me.
Can you remember when we laid upside down?
Or when I kissed you over the pillars of salt?
I’m drunk on rum and Pepsi
and your curved back and bare thighs
excite my fluttering heart.
The pier! Watch it against the beating waves,
We walk the dark toward it,
Your beating heart in my hand.
And so many stairs! The rain has dusted
our whispers, castles have sprouted —
today i discover sand between my toes
and your laughter upon the sea breeze.
tomorrow will be an early morning. Your
skin as amber as the dawn, your head
nestled upon my chest, ours is a raft of carbonized flowers.
My love, adrift at sea I dream of
orange orchids and purple sunrises.
My love, a crescent moon rises upon us,
and you sleep too sweetly to wake.
dentro del mar, dando vueltas
como tiburones encerrando los pes,
he salido de un sueno terrestre,
nadando entre animales cálidos,
juntos bebiendo de la luz incandescente de la luna.
Consigo consejos con los leones ahogados,
Sus barbas hundidas como el sol naciente
esperando la madrugada. Los pájaros me cantan
en burbujas y me pongo cara que los entiendo.
El terreno toma de mi alma, y los
Terremotos durmientes, los volcanes fallecidos,
me hablen entre sus murmullos de sueño terroso —
al riesgo de despertar un cataclismo, abro mi boca a rezar.
Ven por mi barco ligero de los oscuros…