In the earth's bowels we gather, and project deadly operations, right here, under my feet, and it involves death, always, regardless of the hour, or the sea's decisions, and you appear amongst us, Mayakovsky in Vermeer's kitchen , bewildered, could anybody plan your death, could they kill your old neighbor, would they prevent him from watching the news, that night, would his soul look at his body lying in a pool of his own blood yes, they will, and you would do the same, for similar or different reasons, the killing comes first, the reasons, after.
We crossed jungles, do you remember, the expectation was outgrowing the coconut trees, we were liberating the world, from its masters, its failures, from our capacity for murder. We buried Bolivian peasants next to the Che, needing to reenact the story of Christ as far as the sources of the Amazon. We went there. That voyage is stored in memory.
He who counts the hours loses his sense of timelessness, and we count our dead, overlooking their desire for immortality. It's always too late, too late for what, for the conversation we want to carry on in a late afternoon in Café Bugatti, somewhere on the West Coast, away from the front line, but the war is all around us, visible at different degrees according to the mind's sharpness. We always die on some well-defined spot. The body goes back to some territory, always familiar.
Floods. As persistent as the sun could be. It is in the early mornings of the Bay that a peace I would share with you invades my awareness. The light seems to steam out of the ground and carries the soul into a sensation of beginnings. Things seem possible which have something to do with the thrust of living.
It's clear there, over there, as I see it from my window, my brain is sharper than the radio satellite which is circling the world, I don't need to travel in order to visit the disappeared streets of my hometown, and you are doing the same, I'm sure, even if the city of your birth stands gloriously under its flag, but you lost for ever the particular light which accompanied you to school between ages four and six.
A street is territory borrowed from the past, or a tunnel in which we engulf ourselves in search of transfiguration. In fact, we're engaged in the destruction of things we love because impatience is part of passion; let us break to pieces our doomed relation's various elements, pain is the only way open...
Dead, deadly, is death. Time is counted, let us not count the weightlessness of the love we experienced. When and why are altogether another matter. Is there any light ahead, any sky which would lift itself and not fear the sun?
Such impotence in so much beauty, there... Why are there so many young prostitutes among the men; street corners, garbage, police and flies feeding on corpses, heat, narrowness?
Don't bargain for my possessions. They may not leave. Here, around the house, defined perimeters can't keep the sea's roar away from my head. You're hiding behind rose bushes. I sweat during each calendar night, your face confronting me with its perennial presence.
Women weep under their black robes, they climb and throw flowers and rice, instead of grenades, do listen, do you exchange arguments with me, or them, why is the sea green while we're talking, and is she remembering my grandparents whom I never met their dust was already spread over the highlands when I was born , and you keep asking if I'm still alive and I have no answer to that.
Currents meet in my body while it swims and I become water, part of water. The "you" is always the "I", so we inhabit each other in our irremediable singleness.
Deep in my sleep, somewhere still unknown, water was running and there is war said your voice, the future was being dismantled, and is love possible, your question was hanging over my tranquillity.
Yes, whose and whose beginning, comets are exploding on the side of wounded planets. Space is black-and-white movies and your skin is catching fire.
Who is eating at the mountain when the moon sits on it? Yes. Before memory came into being there was an orange moon, there, and I went by it, walking, passenger of its sister the earth, and we were alone, and why I don't know.
This heat is keeping the pressure on us, something will break loose in this speed, this terror.
Copyright © 1996
Electronic Poetry Review