La petite mort


Nobody has politically correct fantasies,
     beauty balances strength and victory,

we are the dead leaves, pages torn from the book of life and
     thrown farthest from the light of god’s love, your

heart is a law I can’t break, I am the book whose burning
     led to our poisoning, by a path of

action my fear wouldn’t let me take, fish studying the
     stars judge a path through the sea, swimming past

justice and death into enemy waters, trusting in
     the depth of their dusk’s dread divinity,


on the pivot of a madman’s unseen vanity, each
     beast rides a memory of his father’s

creation, abyss itself is a veil a man’s myth sheds,
     a tearing of flesh the little death we

let consume us, a moment of pleasure exhuming from
     extinguished roots original sin our

parents banged into us without protecting against its
     kiss, meat laced and latent with dangerous

things any other creature would eat through, feast on until
     their bones knew whether the lifting of its


wail would fall short of making them aware, the origin
     of a species wanting more than just not

being alone, solitude an unfortunate symptom
     of being alive, darkness a home for

those ill-versed in their own perversions, those urges blindness
     turns to a kind of silent performance,

a prison unwillingness to come to terms with living
     a fiction giving in to the itching

coercion of the intimate made impersonal, touch
     what releases a soul from its burden


of having to respect the corpse it inhabits, any
     so-called transgression sin’s way of waking

the libertine within, rousing from his priapic pen
     that paramour whose prick’s lubricity

greases this literary machine, staining the cream of
     these sheets as I am, kicking up autumn,

putting on airs as I take off my pants, talking of our
     problems publicly without saying where

I’m going, putting on show the ugliness of love, of
     not knowing who will die first, a lie’s truth


doing us both in, but wouldn’t you want to include them
     if, by reading through our litany’s length,

strangers could appreciate the thrust of its girth as if
     they’d heard it for the first time every

line? A conquest in verse my kind of cure for this hurt, words
     like scars working their crookèd course through parts

of your heart’s forest any other artist would regret
     having buried his face in, but not yet

have I ever been ashamed of taking my death to bed,
     rising again to swallow Lazarus.