Apologia

On the shores of the mournful land of dreams
I ate the melded butterflies that flew out of your eyes,
and tried to touch the briséd streams of your eyelids
for how they oozed like an overripe fruit
and fell unto the mouth of earth,
the secret arrangements of seeds disclosing
the purple moribundity of seeming-so.
There, beneath the floribund slumber
of autumn, I would die atop the dead middle
of the night, concealing nothing ever known.
I would read from the blank tableau of my character,
deciphering that I was a symbol of a symbol, a syllable
behind a gesture, never the thing-in-itself, never
the literal thing. It was a kind of beauty,
this bruised appearance, the way my cheeks flushed
in blotches, how the blush fell out
onto the sidewalk, puce and peach and plum,
the voluminous colors cut out of my face.
Now from the head the light
is speaking. I am an inanimate inamorata:
beneath a lifetime of unclaimed skies
there is no story flowing east or west of me.
Only the wind came back to the hands
dumped on the floor, the whispers wefting though my ears.
Sorry about the butcher, the baker,
and the bloodman, about how the lilacs bloomed
only long afterward, when the mausoleum gardens
were bloated to a swollen slum, and all the warmth
of human feeling had forgotten them.

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