Aria (I & II)

Aria (I)


If I were to drown myself in reckless beauty and make my wings creased lips parting,

I would hover in sibilance behind you,

my brother making a list of all instruments:

our faces are mechanical copies, yours only younger

and you make a grid with a pencil while I whistle

a jazz song from the 30s (I never knew the words)

and the light here is like the movies,

defining you with shadows

and staining you deep irreparable colors:

the way you’ve let yourself look is a pleasure

from which you can never return.

Your mind is perhaps like the movie projector,

always behind my head, always humming discretely,

and a pyramid of light arrives from that uncharted point

and tames the curling smoke with its certainty:

or perhaps your mind is not like that at all.

Doubtless it is a world of mechanisms nesting inside one another,

and a sentence standing for love is hurtling somewhere unknown,

but you go on cataloging the trusses and circuits,

and I go on whistling.

As you describe your count as the span of a cracked idea

you begin to shade yourself into darkness,

and I have already forgotten how I began,

that I promised you a ravaged image to ease your burdens:

and this chore blooms as the notes of a distant death passing,

a choir’s light stretching out to the vanishing point to break.

Aria (II)

If I were to forget that god is not a pulley once more,

(and where weariness has thrown me I cannot say)

then you could be buried in the frost.

I cannot bear for us to remain in heaven and on earth.

Because I have stopped severing my body from the mirror

to rise like a cloud of heat that distorts

only enough to reveal its presence,

I am standing halfway up the ladder, helpless.

If you have a contract with me,

forget it: I have perforated myself,

exhausted as the nights I used to cut through

strolling through the city where everything is designed for children.

But if you must pursue me,

I sleep in the woods outside town, waiting for summer to empty to autumn

and the community pool to empty out its bodies

and return to the self-love of its own stillness.

Gravity severs us from the forgotten

and until we knot our arteries, making one map,

we will have to be patient.

While we are in flux we cannot be located.

Climbing the panels of corrugated glass,

nothing is made for your safety

but I am keeping watch,

and for beauty I cannot drop like granite wrapped in sackcloth,

tied to the corpse that whispered to me the secret of freedom

like the Count of Monte Cristo, whose resolution meant nothing,

into the odorless green of the Mediterranean.