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It is perhaps in the morning

when we are most alone

when the stillness of sleep


like mist over those

that we love

and a great dream

we are no longer a part of


without us.

There is a heartbreak

in waking

in the stirring of a peace

known only in sleep

and - I imagine - in death.

I search

for this worry-less place

where I am released from these shadows

and the chains of my thoughts.

I look for it

in fields of wild flowers

and in the silences

of my lover

before he regathers his words

and we stumble once again

in the dark.

Alone in the morning,

there is an existentialism

acute and sharp

a banality

in the memory of encounters

that the bright of day

deem fated,

and a godless world

all the more possible.

From Odes to the River

Perhaps I was dreaming

when I saw the mist rise

from the river like breath

and heard him calling.

All this time,

I had thought

her a woman

she of twists

and curves

and tangled impulses

but this morning,

the river was man



I undressed of me

and dressed in him

- his longing 

or was it mine?



around my limbs

like a tapestry

of pine needles

and silk.

I spread my arms

and lay flat on my back

my body a cross

and he the Holy Spirit

beneath me

rising up

to meet me.

I wanted to drown in him

to be filled

by the thick nectar

of river sweat

and his tears

not of salt 

but sweet 

like rain and dew.

The sun rose

and honey dripped

from branches still bare

from winter.

I lay with him,

still but for the ripples

of a passing duck,


in a thousand thorns

stinging with love.

Today I am not

Today I can be nothing

say nothing

not know

not move

forward or back


the carcass



of the bull


the flight

of the bees


from within it.

She called my name

when she woke up

- fragile as a morning dove.

I responded "Si", short and precise

and she followed 

the sound of my voice

into the living room

where I had been sitting

feeling anxious 

about things that now

seemed wholly insignificant.

She looked worried

the matriarch 

who had always scared 

the young men

twice her size.

"I think I am losing my mind,"

she uttered

as though revealing

a mighty secret 

for my ears alone;

"It's all ending now."

And she shuffled

back into her bedroom

gone to get on with her day

the routine of six decades:

hanging the house phone

back in its place after cradling it

overnight, warming water to wash

the sleep from her eyes

clothing herself in her home uniform

that has been the same

for at least the three decades

of my life.


She potters around the house

straightening a candle

adjusting the tablecloth

and takes her pills

- an entire feast of capsules

laid out on the kitchen counter.


She doesn't remember what day it is

but she knows what she's making for lunch:

fresh fish from the fish shop 

for my uncle and I.


She calls the shop

and asks him to save her the usual:

twenty boquerones - no head, no spine.


For the first time

she says she is afraid to go to the shop alone

and I say I will accompany her;

we will pick up her order of fish

and get the bananas she likes

- those small sweet ones

from the Pakistani man

who probably isn't Pakistani at all.

We go to get dressed

and while she wrestles with her trousers

she asks me

what she is making for lunch.



I think about the dust

that his hoofs raise

against dry sky

a veil of bride

and widow

skin of velvet black

glistening dark honey

of the Levant.

I hear his rhythm

in my bones

when I should be asleep


traca traca


like the song

of a clock

with no hands


traca traca


traca traca

too tight in this bed

too narrow, restricting

too heavy the sheet

this white cloth of death


traca traca

Semental, semental

you of the steady head

and the full chest

the wordless speech

and the galloping heart

you who worry not

I yearn for your savargery.

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