Sundial (Planted in the Shade)


          Whores in their finery, pearls
of come pooling like spewed diamonds

hardening then softening again
          inside of me, fulfilling

          sinful inclination, how
ours defies decency, this evil

necromancy resurrecting dead
          loves from among dead leaves, these

          untranslated pages of
fading ink which radiates the way

haloes embrace saints, heady & weighted
          with responsibility

          we cannot take, not for this
chorus this tangle of us makes, this

faithless for its own sake, mistaken
          fates commingling as do shades

          twisting their wraith breath around
the jewelled necks of fey sentinel

angels whose flaming swords of sizzling
          amber, painted flesh glowing

          amethyst, sweating tongues of
sacred letters each lets dangle to


prevent re-entry beyond Eden’s
          eastern gate, leave endangered

          by ancient language, those of
us left out by its gardeners, lone

boneyard wanderers jaded by each
          death’s memory of wasted

          Paradise fading when read
against the edges of sundials

planted in the shade, in its getting
          so bent from abuse this one’s

          ominous gnomon a shaft’s
rusting portent placed that lovers in

this columned grove of coppered trees might
          mistake dusk for a temple’s

          corridor of shade down which
no light but only the white patter

of bare feet splatters onto coolest
          marble, floored that hours here pass

          for centuries, nod at them
with the nobility of voyeur

eternities each pleases by each
          seeming worried their night’s hired


          paramours are priests eager
to eat of sacrificed seeds, it is

then, from within these dark corners, we
          appear, apparitions of

          souls harvested by the eyes
of our blind onlookers on whom we

ourselves not look, but stare, peculiar
          oracular examples

          of what happens when pleasure
fails to repair then replenish what

dies in sight of a god whose awful
          followers care far more for

          depriving of his gifts those
of us this fruit nourishes, to go

on unnoticed by those ambitious
          hypocrite accomplices

          of such injustice as this
is punishment enough when none of

them acknowledges how much time has
          passed since our banishing, yet

          in its inevitable
progress nothing changes, not at all.