LIE TO ME, IF YOU MUST, I’ll BE YOUR CULT OF ONE
Lie to me, if you must, I’ll be your cult of one.
If there’s a darkness you want to lead me into,
a coven of night, a blackhole where you hide your light,
I’ll be Arcturus in the crowns of the black walnut trees.
I’ll follow you down into the underworld, a gibbering shade,
And I won’t look back, I won’t loop retrograde
when you overtake me like a planet on the inside track.
Draw me a starmap. I’ll be whatever configurations of shining
you want me to be, the bestiary of a different kind of zodiac,
and you be the black I’m embedded in and let death
assess the value of the jewels of insight I bring you
like the bituminous eyes of all the snowmen I’ve ever been
intensified into diamonds that will thaw whenever you weep
for reasons you can tell me or not as you please.
Talk to me in your sleep, or write a note for me when you wake
and I’ll hang on every word like a waterdrop
on a blade of blossoming stargrass, or a poet
with his head in a noose hanging like a pendant from your neck
and I promise never to reproach your silence
like a misdiagnosed disease suffering the symptoms of a cure.
I’ll be your dirty old man and you can pretend
you’re the pure embodiment of lust in a nun’s habit,
and I’ll keep my word to the blood oaths and vows,
taboos and alibis we make for the both of us
like the sword that lies between us like the hour hand
of an alarm clock with a snooze button
like a dozy nightwatchman that looks the other way
whenever you want to avail yourself of a pagan afterlife
in a goose-down duvet. Tell me who you dream of being
and I’ll get behind you like a mirror of your shadow
and I swear I’ll never blind you with my blazing
like the legends of the false dawns I once aspired to,
a mirage that wept real tears witching for water,
the ghost of a dolphin in an ocean of maritime stars.
I won’t ask you to enter my solitude without
a wet suit on, or immediate access to a space-station,
or explain my crazy-wisdom to us both as if
you had an anti-venom you milked from the fangs
of the moon that could heal the blessings
of my snake-bit prophetic skull like the eyes
of the dice I roll like the unlucky bones of the skeletal key
that keeps a lock on my heart like the pit of an apricot
until some muse of the autumn lifts my spirit
like a curfew in a half-way house for recovering poets
and there are more unrehabilitated exits in the freedom of my art
than farewells in the tone of the doorbells at the entrance.