DON’T COVER YOUR EYES
Don’t cover your eyes when the stars begin to fall; don’t
orphan your fire in a well. Your heart is not a museum of roses,
your love not a misdirected airdrop over a refugee camp.
Friend of these sidereal affinities we spread like table-cloths across space,
friend of these lonely silos in my eyes and this blood that breaks like bread,
still, you are the flower in the vase, impassioned, an urgent poppy.
All the blind librarians of the morning star agree
you are not who you say you are
when you show the shadows of authority your passport rainbow.
Sometimes the tongue of a forsaken seer dances like a drunk at a funeral
down the liberated allies of a sleeping ghetto
while the moon watches like a cat on a windowsill
high overhead. Shy bird feathered by your sudden flaring, your heart,
young and quick, darts easily from branch to branch
barely a presence behind the green jubilation
of a million silver leaves trembling with rain on the reborn tree.
Before the bird sings, we hear it. Before the star shines,
the night is fully enlightened. And home is always a bridge
where we wait to be rescued from hurling ourselves off
into our own desperate reflections. Let the fall save you.
You are the priestess in the shrine of mysterious apples,
sybil and empress of opulent oranges. No matter how many alphabets
enshroud the fairies in the legendary brilliance of ancient skies
and over the telephone cancel the sacred islands in their eyes,
your blood will bind them to this vital afterlife of now like fish
swimming through the flawed water palace
of a drowned engine. You can bet your lies on it;
your sorrows are not the face-paint of weeping clowns,
nor your natural humanity a moat around a zoo for dwindling dragons.
When you sprawl like a wave of wine across the living room floor,
unspooling the honey and gold of your body’s flower-mine,
I see orchards in your guitar, wheat fire,
the landscape of a small, borderless country
trying to decide which of all its trees should form a government.
Compassionate zero, water your only foundation stone,
you string a harp between your fangs
between the unblooded crescents of the moon
and sink your music deep into the heart of your astounded prey.
Little killer, don’t you know, little killer,
let me tell you,
the saints are crueler than the sinners, the virgins
cheaper than the whores, and reason in its nest of crows
a bird that never soars. Through dangerous doorways, under
lethal skies, the ghost dance of the blind tiger, the white faun
while the widows of light pawn their eyeless rings
in the brutal crucibles of dawn. You want some advice?
Only the great fools who plead for nothing
know all the words to the song.