SOMEWHERE UNDER MY EYELIDS
Somewhere under my eyelids
there’s the ghost of a snake, I can feel it,
trying to shed its skin like the moon.
Maybe it wants to be a poem, I don’t really care,
or it’s an eclipse asking
who’s come to the gate of its fangs
that are just as dangerous as the darkness
behind the crescents of the moon,
or it’s something earthbound in me longing for wings,
something wisely-demonic rising like a dragon,
a serpent with wings,
the lowest and the highest,
the unfeeling engine of my ironic compassion.
I have a heart. A big heart. I bleed and weep.
And I’ve got an eye like the slash of a razorblade
that is indifferently incisive,
cool and clear as a lidless reptile
staring out of the shadows
like a sundial too old
to have any need of time.
Things are as they are without rumination
but nothing’s ever the same for very long,
not even once, without it.
And there may be a trick,
like yanking porcupine quills out of a dog’s mouth,
to pulling all the needles of now out of your flesh
like a rebellious voodoo doll
that just can’t take it anymore,
but I don’t wear my heart on my thumb,
or sip from a thimble of blood
to redeem myself by acclamation.
And it may be a strange shudder of reality sometimes
to have come to this space
where the less you know about what you’re saying,
the more it means,
but I love the way everything,
down to the smallest pebble shines when it does
and more gingerly, the way
I am divested of all knowing
like a chalkmark on a blackboard
in an abandoned schoolhouse at night when it doesn’t.
I wear my new skin like the portent of a forgotten eclipse
that puts its finger to the lips of the flowers