september 2021

 

                  (i)



...my dear, shy habibi

I have seen your wounded looks many times

 

and many times I have felt you pass

through the reticence of my soul

 

a shadow among shadows

healing yet hurting 

 

this bitter transcendence

of never having known you

 

your breath as my breath

your hands as my hands

 

for without words, without touch

I was bereft of air

 

and left to cherish

only the wounded universe of your eyes

 

and so as I lived I died

stanzas choking my heart

 

watching the horizon

in case I missed again some chance to breathe

 

to love far beyond myself

this marriage to an impossible conceit...

 

 

 

 

                           (ii)



...just how far can this

intuitive counterpoint go

 

expletives, for example, fill the mind

and flies warm themselves in the sun

 

perihelion approaches 

and these specks of dark matter

 

these liver spots on the backs of my hands 

mark the end of immortality

 

clearly then, ribosomes are simply lost stars 

and these trees, they too, are just signs of lust

 

of slow, unending penetration 

expletives that rage and rage

 

at this massive helix warming itself in the dark 

toying with extinction

 

a protein for vice

a lipid for the underworld

 

in vivo, in vitro 

my hands crumbling

 

filling my mind

with some invincible, everlasting free-fall...

 

 

 

                    (iii)



...I ask why, why this brooding expanse

this white melancholy, this desert

 

why do they goad me so much

what is this vacant anatomy of my soul

 

where everything is truly nothing

and nothing truly everything

 

the so-called dust of inspiration

burning in my throat

 

this monstrous, monstrous act of caprice

the universe sweetened by violence

 

by pages covered with verse

weightless, blowing across the desert

 

the very last book

turning into sugar

 

and me, again, down on my knees

watching the blank expanse

 

this whiteness of some passing galaxy

pushing the earth

 

further and further from the truth...

 

 

 

 

                       (iv)

 

...this is the veil that is written

and this the mask that is sealed

 

this lava, this syntax 

oozing from the earth

 

covering the seas with gold

with words for love, for transgression 

 

with thoughts beyond even human reach

this gamble with the unknown

 

for to live and to be

are like ways of reading the air

 

of trying to discern immensity

from just some marks on a page

 

that terrifying space 

where the seraphim still dance

 

hiding behind their fire 

every hieroglyph, every sound and translation

 

of words becoming meat

of meat becoming air

 

this illusive choreography 

of all that which is written in gold...