A polished opal for each of the dead, until you run
Out of opals, out of the singular mind—
Under Father’s tangerine tree,
The wind, the one rainless
Night in a rainy month.
Loud as a hound inside you.
In the year of the plague, one creature—
Who cares, who will wonder
Where it ends up. Laid out
In a corner of the room with mildew
Frosting the walls, in triple retrograde.
Weakened. Almost comatose
But it will wake again soon.
It comes from warriors. It is young.
Its eyes are brown, its fingers long.
It shakes the yellow fruit to get
At any sweetness. It bites, it’s alive.
Hot wind of a summer evening.
Twilight brushing close to kiss you
Like an actress or a glamorous aunt—smell of jasmine,
Hint of mint, ylang-ylang, foundation melting.
Venus dangles in the sky,
A modest earring—it should be pawned,
But then, attachment.
You have to decide on a scene.
Is the night cold or the evening
Are you with the Father or the Mother
Or are you alone?
Not alone, I can hear the crickets
Once again in open air.
It must be summer, clear enough to make me
Dizzy. Through the door wide open
The world is an overgrown garden. That’s all I know.
Don’t ask me who runs the world,
Or why I run a tight circle.
I think of life as just a word
Engraved on a golden coin, mine
A tool for widening wounds.
In this lifetime I go into the land of the dead
Because you are not with me.