Belligerent and rich, belittled
little fool. Bird’s heart full
of crazy listening: crush of lies,
sacrifice, lambs bled,
fallen doves. Devil surging
for a jest, spilling niceties
inside her head, dogging her,
dogging, room to room at dawn: Fire
on their hill will give you
rest, absolve the air
of sacred stench. Turn your hand to it.
Let their olives spit in sand;
boil their bitter oranges.
Creaking in wrecked shoes
that bring you from the lower street,
slapping time against your chest to beat it
back, passer-by, newly wed with wine
still on your breath you startle
with your father at her shriek.
kneeling in her silk on aged creases
of the earth, stoking stares
from all their sodden eyes she sings:
Be quick, be quick. It doesn’t hurt me,
doesn’t hurt. I will never cross this plain
again, and swallow all its dirt.
Everyone is dreaming
now, copse wavering in heat. A force:
you find yourself beholden, suddenly
complete. Kneeling too you write in sand:
New lesson—learn love, blind men. Subsiding
dream. They part. She rises, walks to you, and you
will not be alone again.
(*Roughly, “Release the girl” in Aramaic.)
(To hear the audio version, please see previous post.)