Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Name of the Rose

There’s nothing there & back again
every darkwater syllable gleaming in the sun
as if the last breath of someone I never knew
Thus did I assume the vestments
                                                air, water, fire
You could see the stain of the martyr emblazoned there
the stigmata & whatever else is left undone
              just follow these damp footsteps
                              (wings too heavy to be of much use)
thumbing the concrete pages of some self-help book
              like the Dhammapada or the New Testament
                              originally written by the women of Thebes
She said she knew the difference
              could recite the tide tables from Genesis to Revelations
& every blood type from rose to rust
                                                drifting out now past the reef
All that silver & jade drizzled in azure mist
an ounce of nightingale versus banjos in the eucalyptus
swept from the pavement
where my brain caves in to Hawaiian music
              like Herman Melville in a grass skirt