If now, in the middle of my life, I think
of death, I do so out of confidence
that in the middle of death I will suddenly think
of life, with the same calming nostalgia
and with the distant gaze of people
who know their prophecies come true.
Flowers in a room are prettier than the weed’s lust outside.
And though they are cut off from the earth
And without hope,
Their self-deluding desire adorns the room
So you, sitting in my room, are beautiful
with love for someone else.
How can I help you.
The happy wear a thin necklace with black hair
And on their forehead the sign of joy.
And a Greek man looks with blue eyes
Into the dark thicket and is dreamed
By a distant woman, unknowingly.
I cannot help you
As I cannot help myself.
I too make square pictures
Out of round love
That knew no boundaries.
Mortification of the Soul
Yom Kippur on the Sabbath:
instead of shofar blows,
a gray tomcat shoves his horn
into a black tabby;
her complaint goes up to heaven–
the tremulous wails of chastised infants;
his teeth fasten until she bleeds,
the army of his sperm
roars in her womb.
And the parched neighbor
who no longer remembers
when old age overtook her
stands in the window, shrieking:
Enough! Enough! Enough!
People use each other
To heal their pain. Each puts the other
on their existential wounds,
on the eye, the penis, the cunt,
the mouth, the open hand.
They grab one another and will not let go.