L’Homme 100 têtes (homme sans tête)

It’s not that your mouth isn’t enough, it’s
     what’s under those roses of lips never
     opened troubling our purpose; is it worth
     swallowing? Secrets purchased with kisses
     burn furnaces we let leave us hurting—
     when the flame’s been extinguished, love’s burdened.

Without your head, would I still be burdened?
     Or would I lift it up if your spirit’s
     bones were broken? Is that it then? Hurting
     too much, coming too close, that you never
     can be certain if it’s only kisses
     or misery you’re wanting, that you’re worth?

Let my tongue taste and tell you what you’re worth,
     cleaning off curses others left, burdened
     your temple’s column with, unsafe kisses
     stamped all over its holy thickness—it’s
     blasphemous those lip-worshipers never
     knelt before heaven’s face without hurting.

Pauses prayerfully spaced, each like hurting
     sheep awaiting their mouthful, taste of worth
     left to waste; past your prime, silence never
     followed desire like ours, nor more burdened—
     slowly poured, holy water all o’er its
     hardened peak soared, drowned, and soured our kisses.

Hundred-headed man, once headless, kisses
     greet circumstance with fists as if hurting
     ours turns tragedy to romance with its
     illusion of permanence; a life’s worth
     of missed chances leaves lovers so burdened,
     thoughtlessness overturns what men never

would have guessed preserves them. It’s the never
     working more than your face—lazy kisses
     laid on parts farthest from hearts—that burdened
     us with an eternity of hurting,
     leaving us both wanting more than we’re worth;
     sucking down our divinity to its

damnation. Yet obsolescence, with its
     imminent death sentence, is surely worth
     ev’ry beheading if it ends hurting.