Cuts Deep

[W]e die of thirst here at the fountainside.


Do not mourn, our ashes share a single
urn, fire when hidden more hotly burns, more
in common than being scorned, our fruit holds
a parable’s devastating wealth of
detestable deeds which awaken each
the seeds of these old veins, a screw turning


to new life ancient pangs digging for your
Self a hole, a home moaning for your tongue
to fall on and fill in the cavity
of its cavernous den with the bitten-
lipped whispers of a bedroom-eyed secret,
concealing what will grow to be revealed


when the opportunistic wind hears it,
many shameless exhibitionist things
scandalizing the voyeur minds of men,
filth entering them by ears aching to
wear rumour’s thin veil, since this sin’s minor
transgression is much less expensive than


wisdom, surpassing truth or beauty in
its taste’s unparalleled sense of freedom,
borne on air to be experienced, at
least, vicariously, skies darknessed by
the enemy cover of another
sun’s imposter moonlight, your lie makes this


hour our vigil, worship here whoever
is wishful for its pouring over them
this redolent image of innocence
impossible to picture well without
betraying your visitors a glimpse of
the filth every one of your suitors


deposited like a wealth of smoke blown
up your ass the way bullshit fills your mouth,
cuts deepen in the bare modesty of
shadows who know best, always coming at
us from behind, that the first minute passed
after noon is night, Donne said something to


this effect and, as you can tell, after
I first read it what an impression on
my watercolour-wet mind it left, from
under the floorboards of my museum
head resurfacing with a vengeance when-
ever I contemplate the soothing of


love’s wounds, what will not wash off, no matter
how hard I scrub or repent, turning back
again to its Rorschach pattern, having
only a doctorate in doing it
all wrong at my bruised heart’s own disposal,
throwing out what this pen hardly can put


down before my loose eye moves on from it,
promiscuous in my deeds and my thoughts,
profligate and prolific in rhyming-
off what goes on inside, blind to reading
what I want in the desire standing right
beside me, your hand plants a thorn in mine.

1Ovid, “Iphis and Isis” in “Book IX: Desire, Deceit, and Difficult Deliveries”, [Line] 1096, of Metamorphoses: Translated and with Notes by Charles Martin: Introduction by Bernard Knox, published at New York by W. W. Norton & Company in 2005; page 335.