rims of scarlet. gold. olive leaves. rims of thickness descending on arcs of ruby. mica. flourspar. tourmaline. silver white purple loose blackness. the mirage. when i was a child, i watched the words form in my mouth and fall clumsily to the floor. i thought the ability to speak, to make sound, was a remarkable and magical communion with godliness. from my awe as a child, i became aware of the unassailable responsibility we have towards words. they represent our ability to contact and to create new realities. what an important task for the artist! to take us somewhere we have not been, and yet to define the world, the known. beautiful beautiful life with what has been and has not been me asking to become part of something it has not seen and seeing it part of me within it part asking to understand and understanding again its silverness its part which shines and the dull the whole beneath the inside and lightning lightning no not fleece but an unbearable seeing which knows o knows so seeing the inside the beautiful life beautiful life asking of nothing the asking here are the young. they have beaten the white hairs on our chests until we cried to love them. ravenously, i’ll pluck hairs stuttering at the fall of some . . . most holy penitents. always water. always loose weeping because we cannot blame ourselves. we are brooding heat in a glacier of onions. the glacier descends in perfect rhythm as i deny its closeness, but the cold belt soothes, chipping away at the green carousel. the green carousel is my memory of the future. i look graciously forward, aware that you have touched me. the tiny cilia of doubt sipping at ice. the glacier is fear . . . fear of the unknowable blank margins of space where i forfeit control to the inner world. secretly i give in, the glacier swelters crushing my imagined freedom, giving me choice without the opportunity of choice, the inner voice. the unknown. a white line on a wharf. decade after decade of facing the firing. dull gulls, mink cups from which we drink words. reckless and starving, leaving exhilaration behind with monotony. afraid to believe. we hurtle toward oblivion. holding ourselves back but crazy with the desire to unite with it. what is the unknown? the lapse of time between the initial glance and the final expected moment of confrontation seems like ages. however, time, when one is hesitant, when one cares deeply and awaits much seems to drag like a thick web of spidery silk, snagging every effort to move, to complete the journey from one room to the next. soon, the rose has grown thorns and budded. the vine gathers its mesh like the web, embracing a shiny ebb-quiet rowing towards love. mixed blossoms with a fragrance impacted so strong i feel no guilt, no hesitancy to complete the collision. interstices of the dream. the kind murder of renunciation. a velvet bomb exploding in the retina of hate. i learned to love when i learned to hate. hate rises out of the body and flagellates the senses, penetrating layers of myself. testing my strength. the quick sleeve of guilt stifling efforts to move and be. love releases guilt. releases hate. trial by fire and the whistle. using the body as a tool to realize itself in all its infirmities bloodpassing through watery soap using the sweatboiled rim of skin hung in an arc on a band of light the crazy light of fabulous fingers in the core where are your hands that have touched? where the soul in your eyes? hair down deep like fish in gull wings singing. you know the fairytale and you the hands that bleat in darkness. the root. hair. wild refreshing billow of hands, billow of hands. my pillow, a nail hammered in red parachutes of tourmaline, your hands pigeons in my back, arched holy saints of fishes hands in their blue suit of love fishing out whales whales humming in alabaster i come before noon with the wind anchoring my stomach wool banging shutterless against dawn and your hands. i am the black sparrow you knew. the cautious lover tucked under your brow. the beaten paradise. i cannot see, needing your hands trumpets of wine and smoke chattering my tongue. my waist. my infinity in your hands. if i dismantle the craggyness of lips, lamps without oil. if i lie both sides of a coin on the groin of words a bitter green like a wild form. if i persuade the sickness to come out. morning will rise with the hooves of angels on the streets. your eyes are filters of smoke deepening thickly the ominous chaos of this illusion. i ask myself, why so fearful? chaos. . . . . .confusion. i am muddled in my own sensitivity. the room softens, each object at once harsh and threatening, transforms. i see you, your eyes sweeping away falling into the chorus of love. beads collected in a pool, i come like orchids in a field, white mahogany my garnet skin stacked beside the fire. stripped i envy nothing but the wild rain of stars upon the palm of space. you are telling the story of your emotions. i do not know you, you say. i cannot know you. the you i see is not the you which is you. the you which you have known for your lifetime. the you i see is the you of Now. what is you Now is yourself, transforming. we are living in a mirror. i see your reflection in my own. we are never ourselves but what we see in each other. the mirror’s white teeth creating images of hand to hand. . . . .the laid-back motion of our bodies. if whiskers grow straight on the mountains when the tremors kiss i will know you women and men surround me with tongues of fire. they shout garbled idioms hovering in the air. daisies! as the tension builds, skyscrapers exPLODE! farms exPLODE! sexes exPLODE! nothing is the same. i have fingered a crimson lute, all eyes upon me. i faint, singing to hermaphroditus uroboros gorgon quetzalcoatl tiamat we set ourselves to task. four of us form a square, an easily constructed, easily destroyed grouping of men. fragile, mummified in foil. reflecting the burns. inside the square, we have drawn intersecting lines of diagonals. women enter the box and surround it. extending the diagonals they create two large triangles that lessen the descent of water. the fanning of flames. we appear as two wings of a kite, balanced beautiful infinitely unstable. eager to change in wind. each man and woman is enclosed in the womb the furnace is quiet water is a hand of liquid beauty. silk-wrapped, mummified in foil, the bodies eat at each other. i fear the light which smothers dark, carrying each layer of words deeper into the thrust my wound lays open. water eats at fire. fire eats at sky. the sky trembles and screams crumbling like toy blocks into the sediment of liquid. when i awoke this morning, i discovered a small star-shaped tattoo had appeared on my left cheek. barely perceptible from my olive skin, it vibrates against my seeing it. one moment it is there, the next it seems only to be a slight flaw in the skin. by afternoon, it has become bright scarlet. by nightfall, a deep thick magenta. i feel no pain, but some transformation has overcome me. when the day grows dark, i sift slowly through galaxies and nebulas. unbound by earth. a golden bar upon which i lean.