Reverse Delta


Upper to lower, water flows over,
follows for hours the vapid shallows of
our vernacular’s vainest shallowness,
breathes death onto fragile flowers mourning
a former lover no one loved ever,
twists ringing forks of singing tongues, bends nude
hissing tributaries, as a knife does
into a former friend’s back the course of
this desert its ribbon forms as a path,
denial indifferent to flooring
after its use has been outgrown flowing


forth of the blackened earth’s fertile forge, scorch
of sinister, sundowning kisses thorns
ignoring protests its wrist-wringing fits
of sirocco breath explodes with, shouts fists
of riotous indecision, ejects
Egypt’s myths convincing men their prisons
of flesh have been formed in its whole image,
heaven’s total reflection olive oil
writhing gristle, sizzling this withering
river until arteries ferry gods
across arms divinity marks its tracks


of progress along as if addiction
to living forever were a big fish
never catching its breath attempting to
outrun mortal affliction, no cure for
this condition humans refer to as
living, when really merely existing
is another malady entirely,
a diseased thing no priest can remedy,
only refer back toward its omen’s
ill origin, inverting the dagger
of the hieroglyph so that it slits wide


the horizon dividing action and
passivity, line symbolizing an
element opposed to fire, a broken
pyramid of shadow growing below
the map’s edge, slow, regenerative, and
somehow so genital, ancient vessel
fated for emptiness to fulfill, to
cover with dark before its veil veins can
ruin with invisible ink can make
its trouble disappear, red bullets of
wingèd, beaded sweat breaking impulsive


reaction’s constrictive chain, bleeding live
beatings running marathon circuits fired
around every imploding heart which
hurts over and over again, burning
as the drowning sun does, fading the way
a splintered bone aches while setting, paining
so there can re-emerge strong a reverse
delta no longer obscured, no longer
rehearsing, but performing aloud for
once, the soul’s hidden alphabet desire
converts to a living language love howls.