Long the way and twisting, an old gnarled trunk of a winter tree,
dogs sniffing the leaves where root and branch may meet, if you
wind your curving body around mine and let me, to sip your root.
I traveled down so many years the only light was too far to gauge
distance, and so remarkably quiet were the stars I coyote’d thee
and your belly full of children only your bursting dugs may feed.
I ensorcell where I lie, I was never plain, my body loved my body
and yours, yes, yours no matter how the moon might remonstrate
in its code of light and clouds more like the city in which I may die.
Out here great syllables of nowhere the biped goes even on all fours
counting like the Grecian who said one and one is not two but one
only before water runs, wind blows dry the earth the fire ignites.
The discovery of zero in lower Manhattan womb-wimbles its sail
crumpling still slow motion in your home movie of auto-destruction
starring the fate of all who breathe here and take their breath away.
Triple my tudors, my jacobeans, my medievals, my triply tough hide
without water, a bedouin camp pitched where my thirst thrives, love
inside, but why in threes, why the devil taking you and me after we
filled our aching loins with the long-sought salt of our mutual ocean,
sullied the heat full of iron tongues, parted only to come back to love
what was never ours and always the devil’s, or so say conquistadores
in their suits of mail sagging the horses’ backs and bowing their legs
for the long ride to Kansas from New Spain, led by the Turk, priest
of nothing, who only knows where the cities of gold you seek exist
as mirage, so kill the man and flay his skin for jackals in this desert,
they will come quickly and carry the skin back to their lair for nest
and let us be, where are women whose skin is worth more than gold
when we shuck our iron bodies and find the little branches of a tree
that leaf when she lets them, though she is not here, I know, and love
is far from Kansas, Coronado, so return to camp by the Rio Grande.
(18 October 2010)