In a Lather of Faith and Lust

All that we are not stares back at what we are.


A writer plotting against my Self,
a lover fighting nothing
other than the troubling,
trembling desire of wanting
to be someone else’s
other, tired of being
incomplete, insignificant, of chasing
the immediate’s unfulfilling
program of non-existence,


not even resisting
the incriminating implications
of crude nuances nudging us
into overdue epiphanies,
the nearness of a miracle
blinds us to its presence,
can’t you see there burns within me
a spark of redemption flickering,
this body of mine off-a-bit
but not yet off-grid,


still electric and tacit,
a hermit’s lantern,
hiding in its cavernous
chest behind Faraday Cages
of iron ribs the way caskets
do family secrets
its tricksy wisdom
visible only to those seeking it,
why are you fleeing its feeling?
your needing is the heat


feeding it, I’ll give you something
worth repenting, I’ll make you need me
and leave you panting,
crafting from their rumours
a new sin strangers will
have you repeat for them,
an abuse of talent
bruising your conscience
has you contemplating
the use of such tactics


as a penance, since, in a lather
of faith and lust,
absolution washes off
what ablutions cannot,
attacking my motives confusing you
more than enough, accusations of
casuistry gnaw at my mastery
of esotericism’s arcane
vocabulary, operating so smoothly
even the occult is interested in me,


an astrological kind of love,
zodiacal in its timing,
planetary in the impact of its
correspondences’ collision course,
a conjunction of bodies
as well as minds, a suicide
recital seeking always
for what you will never
find: our lost paradise,
your tribe, my approval,


a sweating parable blue as an orgone,
the soul shivers during orgasm,
fake-smiling and crying, relinquishing
any remembrance of what
any of this meant to us
then, constellating the very
arbitrariness of the situation
into something resembling
significance, giving substance
to a heart shattering,


throwing a shape onto the beast
whose ruinous path our fingers point at
as we retrace its disgrace,
our eyes pacing the pavement
of infinite space, parking our sights
on limitless nights no dawn’s
vindictive sunrise can raze,
in the distance of yesterdays
I can see your face,
tears of sapphires dotting the cheeks


of a star, kaleidoscoping
a thorny landscape
of scars goading on
luminous lines connecting, for a split-second,
to spell-out what’s still too hard
for me to learn to accept,
as Auden put it:
‘All that we are not
stares back at what
we are.’

1W. H. Auden, “[Poem] 69. The Sea and the Mirror: A Commentary on Shakespeare’s The Tempest”, [Section] I[.] Prospero to Ariel, [Stanza 2, Line 58], in Selected Poems: Expanded Edition: Edited by Edward Mendelson, published at New York by Vintage International in 2007; page 139.