Prayer for an Eclipse

          For Nadya Ginsburg—


     Meet me on my own terms as though

I were a deity, embrace
me, please, a circle coming full
until the moon completes us each,
frothing foul at the jowls both ghosts
howling into one strange shape which
competes with decay to eat this
dusk, sprawled jaws too weak to resist
a tongue touch to lips every

     stranger’s, insist on being blushed

with licks attenuating lust’s
animus the way heat does oil,
by warming until its fury
drips, even columns of candles
vanish once lit, to get better
illuminated contemplate
this coil to defeat in trust, trust
without deceit, what piece of you

     provokes me to inspiration,

two halves of the same whole, pilfered
leaves taking absences from life’s
tree, barking evasive breaks with
tradition to follow comfort
to what secrecy fugitive
feet trodding fields in the open
must feel, sense at least what shakes to
faint waking this breath’s reckoning,

     fast underneath the path travels

a pact undeterred by the threat
of being broken, if ever
the ground should be opened, in that
moment, my prayer for an eclipse
would, for an eternity of
silent owing, be given up,
finally, hoping that in their
winking, the solar and lunar

     eyes might not spy two more scholars


     of desire’s nocturnal power

journey forward hard to be heard
only by shepherds whose flocking
to our loss of inhibition
demands of them the burden of
turning our urges’ debauch to
innocence before dawn’s return,
since spurned legends prefer to be
remembered for being pure in

     the face of self-serving huckster,

predatory, and rapacious
purveyors of suffering off
offering to sell stories to
the press of how men fail to pass
temptation’s test, in my prayers I
protest how far we have fallen
from the course of our hearts’ quest, too
inured to success to resist

     a swindle’s lucrative sway to

sit still and just recognize it
in our breasts when faced with our souls’
reflections for whom we have been
yearning since the beginning, if
only my words could convince in
heaven those saints whose power to
forgive others prefers, instead,
to resent our existence, to

     relent and give-in to boundless

compassion, give him, my soul’s mate,
my second, my image in whose
command I melt and transcend all
stasis, am healed of all needless
affliction by his affection,
my address and not their hollow
condolences, for when we cross
roads, bridge gaps, traverse liminal

     precipices and live without


     a sliver of regret, then we

have managed well, and managed to
accomplish what for so long men
such as us have only anguished
to glimpse in the dark, another’s
flesh but more than just another’s
parts, the angles muscles arrange
themselves along, the fragrance toil
imparts to those whose work forges

     what treasure our fantasies craft

into art, to be ignored could
never dissolve what we want, but
encourages us to pore through
walls of stone and peer at our bold
brethren supplicants, our fold’s gay
brothers dancing-out their haunts’ gaze
unashamed as though no one’s clock
but their own ruled over their turn

     to walk on water and perform

miracles without second thought
after so long fraught with being
thought of as inferior to
others’ gods, these sculptured men more
statuesque than afternoons passed
in echoing museums, those
vast cavernous immaculate
prisons, praise to them for being

     out, these liberated inmates

who pass tests more Herculean
in their labours than history
will ever mention, only myth
can distill what fortitude our
ancestors had to exude, sore
from enduring behind closed doors
cruel uncertainties worse than
their fathers before, that if they

     could have lived out loud their sullen


     unspoken truths we, too, would be

stories only, marrying as
they had to so as to escape
angry suspicions of some vow’s
unsolicited hints, of one’s
inexplicable tendency
to celibacy, monks whose sons
were ones merely hoped for, absent
heirs, aborted fantasies, poor

     fugitive ideals with a war’s

heritage of emotional
baggage too hefty to conceal,
better off inconsolable
than unwanted here, yesterday’s
nudes found used, cut up, slaughtered by
professional mourners immune
to loss, no longer moved, even
now not much is different from

     how it was then, for to be as

we are is constantly to have
to prove, to do what crude others
believe us too weak to do, to
be superior to critics
whose few expectations too low,
deceive them into believing
their fears are proof we need their fool’s
approval, to know more than our

     detractors justice and just what

it is goes on in the darkness,
what power we faggots burning
midnight tapers tap into, ghouls
prancing loud and fugue around lewd
promiscuities and chancing
on reputations the trampling
under our curled toes of which serves
only to prove, yes, indeed, this

     magic does exist, that between


     us both there persists a flagrant

magnetism only our kind can
witch, mesmer without consequence
willing sacrificial victims
we devour with no remorse, sluts
giving and getting head filling
our altared egos with viscous
promises of love spilling sweet
trickery into mouths, secret

     names they forget after we tryst

with them, straight men impervious
to this itch until, bent enough,
curiosity convinces
even the most Stoic among
them to try quenching it, thirsting
for a new experience, if
only, how on the fringes our
society subsists is no

     mystery to any of us

kids who have left our villages
to while away in exile our
aching, ancient, pagan sabbath
rite of passage this anything-
but-liberal city only
implicitly permits, and how
savage our unchained spirit of
frivolity, evocative

     of perverted kingship, dances

with unfettered lascivity
in pink triangles its wicked
majesty fills, for here in our
revered spear-ritual’s circle
players’ playful sword-fights pause their
joust’s lopping-off of daisy heads
to come up for air and, ever
more faithful when she nears, hear in

     her jests Ginsburgian wisdom


     packaged in pleasing maxims and

meaningful aphorisms words which
insist we accept our Selves as
we are, each one of us as is,
yes, for “Nobody parties like
the oppressed,” she said (my darling
Muse, my Nadya Dearest), and yet
nobody else but you, my breath
without which I cannot live, can

     warm me to wellness, to fullness

of health, strength, comfort, nurture my
tortured genius the way you do
in the chill of a cold shoulder’s
ill-informed ignorance, this world
needs to smoulder with your brilliance
before it can be forgiven,
for even shadows exist on
the most famous canvases to

     contort in negative spaces

the shapes of promises fulfilled,
this is the skilled resilience of
the true artist, to gift to his
audience what only its heart
deserves to get, rewarded for
such patience, for how we paint what
we perceive always colours our
reality, anything can

     be either an apocalypse

or an opportunity, each
prophecy needs its nuances
to be read carefully, chancing
misinterpretation to take
on meaning, to carry along
its message, and how I foresee
such a future together no
one can help but envy, even

     if wrong about us entirely.