Under justicing fires
purging a mortal mass of thought,
Christian mice and Demeter’s piglet
squeak vaguely in the catacombs:
vanquished meridian hallows.
Icarian divinities of air
erect imagination’s defeat.
A verminous blue despoils
you, your carnal hopes, who wait
for nothing, happy with
the sky’s blank, among the stones
lizarding, the taut warm smells
of olive and manure:
prospecting no depth now, equalled.
Even as a tremendous wind invests
both sea and high places, you laud
pure boundaries, idea dithyrambs,
temple thrusts that balance
any cap of sky: the ground absolute,
a firmament, a last resolution.
Who needs gypsy gods in dark chambers?
This is a land without entrails.
Positing traces of nameless feet
amid feathery, overblown grass,
these hunters in imaginary fields
shiver to the margins of an image
and factor the dim light: sun molecules
allow someone to walk there fitfully
through dead orange and coughing dust.
She walks east, her hair laughs, golden
choke open, o, a moment.
As she crosses the sun, she is the sun.
The bird of night streams upward and paints
the sky, her eyes; cloud-lidded
waves trail a reflected blood.
Where are her doves, or equivalents?
Charred chariot of the underworld,
graduated sandals of the dusk?
Dew rises into a nondescript presence.
In childhood I lost a city like this.
I walk up and down Lavalle and Libertad:
crowds light up, eating, talking, jostling.
At least I have purposes left over.
A Dulmenic painting steals my eyes
until I resemble a lizard again.
Fictions green and cold as Borges
flicker Incas. The saltimbanques
vanish and recompose: I too
will sacrifice the stone called my heart.
Then a silly girl testing her English
brings back on me an abandoned thought,
the daughter I lost returns this way, always.
Do I need this undying, exitless
memory? I line up for an ice-cream
while my heart continues shopping.
Voyeur, note well: woman and child on the steps
of Our Lady of Victories. Note well
I almost passed that quiet hand by,
that waits as long as a summer’s day.
Note well: this Pieta’s one hand holds
the child, the other begs motionless.
Inside a large image of the living Christ
bleeds transparently from its neon heart.
My turn at last: I pay the spatula artist
fifty cents in inflated australes,
take (note well) my cucuracha cone,
mouth it to a melt and drift away.