A Heart That Would Be a Diamond

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.


Opening up is a very imperfect art, the navigation of
uncharted parts, we know better than anyone else our own
secrets, keep them to our Selves, to exercise one’s wit

publicly is to gamble with authority for autonomy, speaking a
grief impossible to write of, strangers reading in the emblem
books of our faces mixtures of pictures and text which

can only be read together, not separately, never apart, images
of excuses assembling meaning shaping breath into sounds they always
mispronounce, in spite of this we manage somehow to still

exist, doing so, perhaps, through it, a heart that would
be a diamond always creating resistance against which to push,
a muscle hardened the way a chisel turns a smile

to a grimace, this is anger made manifest, a thunderbolt
vehicle sculpting oblivion, freewheeling two opposite truths into one, my
life has been broken and rebuilt like the Temple in

          Jerusalem, more times than I can remember but will admit,
          doing battle with my demons in the desert has made


possible what I have been needing becoming things I want,
redefining what I already am, a cracked vessel spilling light
when it attempts to fill the dark corners within to

which one must get before moving on, demonic attacks overlap,
underscore, and compete with transcendental experiences, develop spiritual discernment, between
misery and mysticism there exists only a hand’s breadth dividing

them, transmuting mistakes into revelations, self-improvement crystallizing shed flesh into
thicker skin, snaking through scorching grasslands of disillusionment, tortured over
and over again by the misfortune of having to bend

to eternal Universal truths which will never relent to one’s
will, to be in the presence of oneself and not
present as a captive, to know the difference and not

be enslaved by what distinguishes one from the other, to
glimpse the abyss and be emancipated, to find in not
knowing a source of comfort, an origin story more heroic

          than any myth can sufficiently depict, painting for an audience
          of unwitting initiates, without glossing over it with the puckered


blush of embarrassment, an unflinching portrait the ineluctable silence of
which singes lips, implicates its viewers by switching places with
them, forcing strangers to face it, no vicarious alternative to

this crippling vanity of ours which burns like a brush
of beard against the virgin flesh of blank canvas waiting
for the impurity of this kiss to sit like oil

on its surface, an ejaculation of inchoate symbols splattering their
significance on the skin of them, scattering calligraphies of meaning
sinking in, like tears of ink spilling onto vellum, over

a span of seconds, minutes, or centuries, sloppy revelations flaming
by degrees increasing arcs of knowledge making of our mess
charred parcels of awareness we package thick with truth when

it won’t come out, pearls locked in the jewel box
of my throat, doubt in your belief in me holding
hostage unmoored barges adrift with lilting hauls of damaged cargo,

          cosaboteurs of our own hearts, delivering to Vulcan’s custody faulty
          parts we discard for not being warm enough, consigning to


furnaces what stoked us once but does no more, hardening
to glass shards what love there never was, a joker
cut like a stone, invisible like the wind, moving like

a shadow across the land, smoke in the mirror, opening
up like trickster Lord Tezcatlipoca, unwinding my repressions by encouraging
this expression’s transformative explosion, dynamiting closed minds until they blow

up into blooming catharsis I can at once work with
and grow from, a collision of the claustral into the
caustic sprawl of an inner city’s viscera, numinous, liminal, and

appalling, the chain-link of split ribs torn asunder with the
impatience of a torn fence through which has crawled my
famished innocence, from scientist to subject tested by it, my

rabid disinterest in redemption feeding my fiendish ego with rapist
and ravenous conceit, my deeds weighed against their motives, a
man made of shivering fragments, pieces of me meet like

          ghosts at the Memoir Club, shadows of diaries dance between
          breaths, no one recognizes his death as it passes him


by, memories waltz alone, choking up my home with the
dust they hold, palms full of deserts, remnants of a
chilhood that has grown old, fold into me the way

all languages stem from the Hebrew letter Yod, flowing together
as one, like a river against the world, both of
us taken by this torrent, knowing nothing is useful unless

it is honest, which is not the same as being
truthful, being unpersonable does not equate to being awful, reflection
lead me to a place of renewal, reveal your Self

to me as a concealed Raphæl, an angel to help
heal my broken relationship with my Self, take from me
what’s left since I never gave enough when I had

a chance to change, to lay bare this face before
I replaced it with a mask and took on your
cage of glass, play this hand however you want, odd

          though it is that even doubles d(r)own themselves, ask Narcissus
          if he looked up to see Icarus before he crashed.

1Kahlil Gibran, “On Beauty” in The Prophet: With an Introduction by Christine Baker, published at Ware, Hertfordshire by Wordsworth Editions Limited in 1996; page 47.