The Adulterers

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Three days you lay sick from what I had done,
with the knowledge of our nights inside you.
Like spilled ink that flows into atrocious purples,
they cannot be taken back.

Your maid tried to kill herself,
the shame had become like an unbearable child.
Kneeling before her confession,
she wore that thick and ugly whiteness
that spurred us both on to seize our forfeit paradise.

This world of doll-like beauty,
the weight of a thousand-year-old paper folding fans,
which we dared to destroy with our bodies’ provocations,
ranges against us now with measured ferocities.

It is now, when at last I have lost you to them
that the vision of your soiled cloaks sears me.

Through layer after layer the ink comes, irrevocable,
mixing our dark bloom of love with
finely sutured lotuses, sullen tigers, impossible cranes.

Were those robes not like exquisite chambers
which this century had meticulously prepared for you?
When the ink breached them, we both wept with joy,
for they became the one pristine debasement I could offer you.

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The Reply

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You who see me and say
she is this and this,
and I can contain her within my day,

I am not for you.
Even in my softest moments I am not like that.

I demand atrocious summers,
the glistening throats of youth,
darkened by my heat, and a pyre of impossibilities.

You are like the one who,
on seeing an empress with her dazzling entourage,
bends down on one knee,

and promises conquests in her name.
You lover of lights, of worlds, my suitors are few.

I disdain your hunger for victories,
for to conquer is to set limits,
to choose just one, cruelty or tenderness.

But what if both were to contradict
your wounded mouth?
What would love be to you then,
a black-blue devouring moth?

Do you really want its desolation
as much as its laughter?

The Friend’s Counsel

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For you, the shadows are a dark tongued language,
and you find in them, all the tones
of that foreign land that echoes you.
I have always thrived in the dazzle
of this light that casts away the
dank and furtive promise.

I want the world to speak in the clear
voice of shapes,
I want an immaculate music of pillars
rising from the ruined flowerbeds.
But in this divested light, only
the outward dares speak.

You, who listen, who abide
the crimson banners of your dawn temple,
why do you understand
that which you cannot translate,
your cherished melancholy,
your contraband life?

I will have my order,
clean, sterile and magnificent.
But still, I envy your assiduous preparation
for euphoric desolation,
this prowess I have discovered
in your sensitivity.

The Suitor

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We fly through these streets
as though the snow bid us on
deeper into its white and pure
desolation.

And now and then it touches you,
and you look away.
Do you sense the ruthlessness
of my coarse blood?

On your skin like porcelain,
on which the snow leaves no imprint,
your family has placed
a veneer of dazzling centuries,

and with boreal opulence,
your silence communicates
the burden of their dreams,
which were never yours.

You press yourself tighter to me
so as not to see where it has
finally cracked,
and in your sudden lips
I taste the young and violent
spring blossoms.

Do you now see what passes
at the open window of our swift rickshaw?
A whirling city already modern
and confident in its horrors.

And only now and then the
faint perfume of that other
lost world, from which you came.

I will be the end of your illustrious line.
I relish this,
the way, without even knowing it,
you sink into my arms like a beautiful ruin,
the way I have attained this sentence
over your young life.

The Ritual of Life

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I am the one who will die.
Come, contain this night
in your warm mouth,
try not to forget.

If you wish to speak,
press yourself to me, here,
at the wide open belly
and sear it with the
cold perfection of your life.

I am the man who will die,
tomorrow, in a hundred years,
but only once like you.
I cannot bear the thought
of your death,

which I have seen in my sleep.
Your breasts flew like
leaves from your soul,
your skin slipped away
and I saw the mollusks
of a white and failed night.

Now I want to crystalize
this final gratuitous act
in a frenzy of hands
and lips without bodies.

I am the one who will die,
in a lifetime, a moment.
You flow through the holes in my plans
like a dark river of hair.

We will both forget
this certainty of being alone,
and this certainty of being here
contained in this night
of horror and snow.

Bodies

Between us this blue flow,
blue ream that unrolls
endlessly like a canal
of memory,
like the surfaces of your sorrow.

On it comes
procession after procession
of the unconquered heart,
rains to erase our solitude,
the drifting spires of sunken ports,
a tender commerce of
ruined lips.

Do you see it too?
Your eyes are glazed,
and you cease to look.
It doesn’t matter,
because we are not the
only two lives in this room,

because there is this blueness that
uncoils itself like a body,
endlessly like a moon
sheltered in our parallel chests.

Oh, there is so much joy
in drifting in this space between us.
I see it settle over you like a
veil of constellations.
When I kiss you it touches me,
like the warmest of hands
forgiving my will,
my proud mouth of defiance.

I see at last,
the unfurled intestines of our souls,
the arteries that cross the blueness
like herds,
passing on, outreaching us,
through the loosened curtains
of our pleasure
to Join the roots of the night trees.