The lights come on in the valley below.
When did you last believe shutters were for shutting?
A domestic penance:
these accoutrements, spall and mixed
design breaking like ribbons of speech
on ribbons of water.
Dialect is the truest gift,
self speaking self
the way the trees did,
For we are one yet we are many
and we rise.
There was a time I could not hear
because my ears were stopped with pure honey.
I was standing still.
At what point do thieves cease to steal
our stories, our painted shadows?
—Proverb and joke.
Carefully I copy the image
of empire’s currency,
abstraction of the leader, abstraction from the mode:
thus sex as artifact.
Lilith, take heart.
I have not let anyone in.
Scientists now project the pollen count
millennia into the past—
If I refuse to remove my hand from the guiding thread
it is only because I have not yet pledged
allegiance to foreskin, shent villa,
sweet crystal psalm.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2007
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.