Where Abundance Suffocates Joy

[L]ove is obscene precisely in that it puts the sentimental in place of the sexual[.]
          —Barthes1

                    i.

Loads of god blown like hot wads
into crumpled tissues by the twitching fistful
unburden souls of their servitude to a
hypothetical lord, to not mock our Selves
with falsehoods, best you hear it from
me first, that the rumours are true:

my professional cuddler closed my file on
account of the account being well past
due, sent my bill off to collections
without so much as mentioning that it
was good for him, too, no longer
welcomed for snuggling sessions in his penthouse

apartment, concluded without a final greeting or
forced smile, wagered my tongue was only
silver-plated, my needs too degenerate to accommodate
with his purchased affection, any recommendation of
mine, any endorsement worthless in his purer
line of work, abandoned in a wilderness

                    ii.

of mirrors the warm breath of metaphysics
crawls between dry ribs, indifferent, its laughter
wrapping them in pages torn from Eliot’s
Waste Land, epigraphs in foreign tongues timeless
sayings left unattributed and untranslated, love is
lust’s veiled sister, praying for those the

other preys upon, lust is love’s shadow
in love with itself, with tea-blackened teeth
the heart is a libertine beast, a
fugitive fiend who, in his flight, leaving
us without first even eating us, beats
us without wings, a cheat who wins

the race against time, breaking the clock-face
before it can break him, sybaritic priest
of sleepless nights, seeking in him enviable
qualities I do not at all have
myself, conceding to strangers my mistrust of
faith ever healing this, filling pillow-talk with

                    iii.

such fluff, Augustine confessing to us from
within a scalding cauldron of unholy loves
singing of what Tiresias saw when he
was both man and woman, before his
staff struck the serpents from their mating
ball and turned him again, the way

every attempt at repentance seems to end,
then begin, where it began in cycles
of seven, lasting only as long as
we walk the path saints and prophets
did, until we come upon sin slithering
into the crossroads where together we lovers

of dust gather to pass the hours
in a dusk lit only by the
candles of each other’s eyes, musking delirious
conceited skies whose feigned chastity our unapologetic
vanity compromises, pride setting in the way
a stain does, soiling a soul in

                    iv.

the crude manner of obscene ink spoiling
a garment, throwing down the gauntlet, the
vanguard of worrisome words traumatizes an audience
insistent that it ignores everything we say,
everything we make, everything we write they
pray will never bring to light transgressions

of their own for which none among
them has yet paid atonement, and won’t,
repeating their mistakes we portray in our
fables and parables, knowing love is the
White Devil, la petite mort, this little
death’s a reward for us who have

suffered the good, beware the snare of
its web ere Webster’s spider make a
thin curtain for your epitaphs, you’ll hate
me for asking but you’ll appreciate my
honesty: can we rub our dicks together
this week? from the bottomless pit an

                    v.

answer: no second chances, only endless transformations,
sometimes mountains, often mole hills of mounting
insignificance, inconvenient little reminders that immortality favours
no one more than those who have
not yet endured any form of being
other than seemingly constant suffering, the greater

torment is not the torn garment, nor
the one on which lust has spilled
its indecency, but the silence of the
soul shedding it without crying, in the
garden where love always ends, where abundance
suffocates joy, a fountain-burst of blood into

wine, the only noise is breath stopping
like stilled water as the spirit ascends
to meet its father, dropping an offering
of hints, not bombs, greeting forever without
a bang or a whimper, no longer
cursed to live over and over Wilde’s

                    vi.

one very long moment, from the depths
of its well rising like a whisper
of flaming air to burn the ears
and eyes of all who see and
hear what I tell, these sighs of
mine echo ours to comfort the miserable,

death always remembers the way to your
door, on the day he forgets we
will emerge victorious, impervious, no longer disturbed
by life’s ceaseless inconveniences, free to live
for a purpose higher than our desire,
to serve one whose home our vacancy

fills, having learned to give, to love,
without remorse, no longer so various and
vainglorious in our ways, no longer thrown
off course by the force of temptation’s
gravitational pull, falling no more for illusions
we were taught we could not control.

__________
1Roland Barthes, “obscène / obscene” in A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments: Translated by Richard Howard, published at New York by Hill and Wang in 2001; page 178.