Psyche in Bed

To the god. Tonightthere are no visitors. Stormclouds rise over the near mountains, beyond the finch-dense forest.For nine and ninefold nights I have waited in darkness, lulled only by wind-whine—unmoving, bedded, mind-whir muddles and buzzesinto body. From between teeth seeps fortha strange issue, dries linen-white, palerthan graying face. Untouchable.Sores collapse open  skin-strata, shallow basins, suppurated sediment. Nerve-sensed I survey the subsidence— does blood slowand flow around the wound? Tissue-silt crumbles, heats,as tubers sprout through the eschar, onion-stalksof bone, pungent. The blighted tendons. Each nighthands return to rub limbs with damp clothsof camphor, but I know my stench persists. Growswith each sullen moon, slow-flowing night-water. Brackish,blackening, the unrushing slough, breedinglike rancid trout roe, dug into gravel redds. Eelsdraw close, dazed. Residue of river, place where streamingstops. Tawny trace. Place where water slows, and flowis fallow. Have I fallen? My shocked knees molderand fold. My legs lapse. I will not leave. * * * At times I vision     a shaded window.The voice-veil with greened gaze     avers: no grovegrows on the hillock, and if below it     somewhere flowsap-slinks they are locked     in a rock-drum,deep and unrising. And what fate,     spun from a frayedthread uncut by the rust-knife,     will sphere me to stayif Eros does not come? * * * Bright: a begonia blooms. Yolky calyx whorlsbelow the twisted stigmas. Petalless yellow: the sepals. * * * A dream taskedto me: disorderof grain-sand and light.The love-wind, careless, carrying, knew little of chaff and seed, liftingbut what is too heavy. It came to pass. Dayplunged into the far massif,fell like shatter-glassinto the deepening forest. By my hands undertaken:you were and were.Another man might have beat the harvest, the hand-flail’s whiningchain, unsettling the scale-shells,then fan the thresh-pilewith vans of air-holding canvas, color of your hair,husk-grey. I was givenno tools. Raised my handsto the slats’ beam-slits, let your prayer-name rise.And from great height,over the mountain-shadows,the winds, thinned-warm, startled cool eddiesof dry-spooled air.Unweaving the grain,half-crazed scatter of field-fray, hazed, condign. Raincloudsfollowed the crossedcurrents, the streaming from the sky’s raised face. Were you there, restingon the low hay-bed,looking toward me as I left?Where I did not see, as a last breeze lazedin the wooden hold, the granary.Now what remains is only cold and golden. * * * A door deepens into the marble-mottle floor. My jewelbox, gilt-crusted, fills with gems, pale, opaque, vivecon, combivir, kaletra, truvada. The box, plucked open like a square-set string. Should they be bezeled, set in shallow-cupped gold, fastened to rusted ears? My arms are furred with sloe-blue molds. * * * The five-fingered god-hands dream.The thin indigo bird, startled, leaves. * * * Foot-whisper of a woman— You, with paper-scent fingers,within the bruise-black hall— Go where I cannot. Find.You, I know your hands— Your legs, they will take you.And once he is found I commandthat his stiff limbs be burned— String him up, dangle himwhere all will watch,where any who loves himmay freely go to weep— You will not find me there— * * * The second task-dream:to winnow thinsticks from the sharp-sliverarrows. Fine finger-workfor tips of small-silver:by feel to findthe breaking-downof browns. O were Ian arrow: freed from the bow-string to become vector—No: quivered into one thing. * * * As a pulley shakeswhen rope runsthrough it.  The bushesnew-bloomed, shivering,opening the meadows dowered with trees—heavy-leaved, hoveringabove, and the silent star-pulses, alive.Spring crawls intoeyes and scratches  its way out.When he comes,I almost do not notice his lightform, gauzed arrival,this low black  breeze-blow,the feathered airsuspending him above me—when he is nothere, it is as if he is not here.