Son Chemycal

So let us melt, and make no noise[.]


In darkness where only we can find it,
what wounds and oppresses the light
fights to get inside us, makes moist
orifices only fingers and tongues

have any sweet hope of ever being
able to distinguish, stinging
kisses melt through flesh, electric
as impulses meddling with the heads of

us whose nerves of steel vanish, bend under
the wet pressure of such pleasure
any foolish denial of
which would implicate us as martyrs and

disadvantage further its masochism’s
oppressor, this call we answer
too much empowers disaster
to enter gardens of hearts our mildest

manners will never master, courage we
will never muster fevering
dreams without favour, ashen sweat
painting over with a sore’s passionate


fervour bloodletting’s cure flushing us pale
after taking our innocence
the way fire does blank canvases,
our red faces weighted with a dusting

of blushing shame, angels left anything
but blameless in the name of this
breathless game we let play us hard,
doves estranged from peace in a place where none

resides, we live blinded, love’s suicides
reticent as pilgrims tracing
with silence on our lips and filth
in our hands—these webbed things in which we let

some saviour spit some sacred chrism of some
questionable vintage our skin
whines against whenever we yield
again to temptations we fail too much

to resist, as if reviving fallen
spirits was sin’s accomplishment—
these broken instruments we then
lift to our muddied eyes in sacrifice,


offering up without words our night’s lure,
dusky moths with dirty mouths who
seek accord with a higher force
to gain a course out of this fantasy’s

unholy land, two men, gentle birds turned
by this cavern’s ignorant hordes
from Platonic companions to
carnivorous whores, turkey vultures left

stranded by our desires, grounded from flight,
we stand naked as altars, or
egos stripped of faith in themselves,
vulnerable as lambs, a feast men swarm,

surrounded by wolves waiting for us to
lie down, to be taken into
watering jaws the way artworks
fall into the arms of vandals after

another world has already conquered
ours with morals foreign to those
values we hold dear, from within
we war against fear someone else put there.

1John Donne, “A Valediction forbidding mourning”, [Stanza 2, Line 5], in “Songs and Sonnets” of Donne: Poems and Prose[: Selected by Peter Washington], published at New York by Everyman’s Library in 1995; page 49.