The winters here are mild.
It snows on the peak
of the mountain that’s all.
The temperature drops then
but only in the North
which is less than a mile away
so it’s possible to walkaway
from the cold into the heat,
from uncertainty to uncertainty.
A plush rose firm juicy and rude
to look at. Tips of trees brush against her
tawny cheeks. Sometimes on Sundays
she walked barefoot in the streets.
I didn’t need to ask what she was doing.
She was free. I told her she was beautiful.
If she believed me she didn’t say.
Instead she spoke of her mother
who at the height of her psychosis
had conducted the birds
in her garden with a makeshift baton.
She is dead now, so are the birds.
At the beginning of December
the weather changed. Everything froze.
It seemed to me the light was pure silver.
Snow had fallen during the night.
The sky was pit grey, dense, deep
enough to fall into.
I followed her into a gust of wind,
the ground cracking beneath my feet.
Her throat, her coat, her wine stained lips
spoke of her willingness or her grief.
A couple of leaves caught in a spiderweb
flap their wings helplessly. Their wings!
A fabulous surface beneath which
a pulsing flesh that I felt the urge to kiss,
that would make me burn, remade
and ready to endure something as raw
as Orpheus’s love.
I tried to imagine his exhilaration
on reaching the summit. His face
pinched from his exertions,
looking bravely into the camera
with an air of embarrassment
that seemed out of place on him,
so fragile, so passionate and yet hard
and unforgiving. He entered a forest,
he walked along a river, he scaled a mountain,
but perhaps he would have preferred to disappear,
would rather have been a mirage,
or a sweet love song, irresistible and haunting.
The sun was still hot. Black glittery
sand trembled briefly
on a twisted packet of Amber Leaf.
I waited for him. I had martyred him.
He wasn’t real. But he was there.
There was a lot of blue
at first. It was the Mediterranean,
stripping me down
and throwing me off balance.
Then leaning out of the window
I was able to see the Red Mountain
creeping into the Atlantic.
The sky fell in the beams
of the headlights into the mouths
of cliffs on all sides.
It was a year for meeting strangers.
And then all at once
I wouldn’t see them anymore.
I was old and drifting
crawling through caves
in search of origins.
Above the cliff, the road dipped,
halfway down there was the pine forest
with juniper. An enormous terrain in black.
Everything moved. A nighthawk
plunged headlong into the speeding car.
The car, an orbiting axis
tilted the earth, flooded the road
ahead. It was a bloody scene,
in a hurry, devouring the remains
The old walnut trees at the edge
of these woods, these bits of darkness.
People come and go, slam doors,
rage underneath. Watching
these great shapes rake the sky
I run outright with reason.
We smoulder in the shadows
forever redundant and aroused
pushing away always
in all direction
toward the rocks below
toward the void above,
the feverish weight that crushes us.
I have been here before.
Watching the ceiling listening
imprisoned in the other’s mind.
He listens too.
White noise seeps through the walls,
fear a sigh and a low rubble.
Things move outside but in here
where pain underscores everything
thoughts are translucent.
There’s prey and hunter, wired
by currents that have burned away
the flesh which makes them impossible
to tell apart.