Saturday, April 16, 2005

Emphatic Rigor/Beautiful Embrace

1.
The depth charges are set and
sinking, ready for the pressure
of black eons devoid of light,
ready for the escalation and
sudden recursion of tension,
that larger death that is both
orgasm and unmaking.

Though no wound shows out
under the examiner's bright
lamp, though the stainless
metal surface of the autopsy
table is clear of blood spilled
foul, the body is no less still,
the emphatic rigor no less
present.

All slow poison and sudden
aneurysms upon the stair climber,
every crawling, carnivorous
ailment that gnaws slowly at the
guts unnoticed--

All glorious, bloody exorcisms
of the soul, arterial spray like
short-lived fountains upon the
earth, accompanied by that gasping,
crawling finality as the sun goes
black and all turns again to ash
and new earth--

Methods, in all endings, are
immaterial, but the knowledge that
this process is ongoing,
unopposable, inchoate in its
absolute march through
oblivion's gates...

Houses that walk on stilted
limbs, weird spiders filled
with the whispers of doom,
cages of flesh unleavened
with such strong salts as to
stave off reversion to base
components, our bodies
feed us the requisite
hormones to make us dream
of perfection and some
immaculate, bulletproof
celestial material within
that could undream the
dream that is chromosome
deep, molecule deep, weighted
within the very atomic mass
of the iron within the
hemoglobin within the
blood as it accelerates and
comes to rest again in
response to each heart's
pumping.

2.
So it's decided, and, as so
often, timing is the only
reasonable question.

Will the angels upon
the higher air, imagined
under duress and chemical
alteration as they might be--

Will those angels of mine
be black of wing and
coffin shaped, as they are
for so many doomed to
never look face on into
the eyes of the sun again?

I let the door slip shut
behind me, the city's
effluvium and shameful,
beautiful embrace on
my skin one more time
tonight.

I walk into the jaws
of evening, knowing
enough to frighten myself
and too little to step aside
when the coming motorist’s
brakes fail at the corner.

May those imagined
angels fly at my shoulders,
whether meaning weal
or woe, doom or destiny.

May the grace of the
twice-damned keep a
smile upon my lips
as I dream the same
foolish dreams as all
the other sleepwalkers
under the buzzing
sodium lamps,
forgetting the depth
charges and the grim
angels hovering on
obsidian wings athwart
the moon.

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