Mouth of Fire,
Breath of Dreams

Shall I tell how this happened?
There’s some violence, but it’s cool.
You’d have thought
my entering these cloisters
would smooth out my difficult life.
It was the blundering, lethal tool
that finally curtailed all good and bad,
brought smoking, crashing failure on all sides,
bloodily breaking me —
I went down thrashing —
flaying the flesh from my body;
so that when I touched you, so raw and exposed,
I adhered to you.
I sealed myself to you —
sole living thing
who ventured too close then.
I stuck to you
like a fly caught on flypaper.

Pinioned and crushed,
I hung below the planet,
twisting and swinging gently,
and throughout the Cosmos
there was silence.

You never tore me loose.
You folded round me —
softened, anointed, and annealed —
and after a time,
dissolution.
And I realized I had entered
the long—sought sea,
the dear sea of my childhood,
without even trying.
The water was resplendent,
simmering with a zillion jittery lights,
with massive brilliance spreading out
to the end of space —
had a galaxy burst here?

Waves, angel—clear, dreaming,
brimming with music,
were warmest in the depth.
There daily I’m drawn.
While my blood
still burns on the sea’s surface,
I sink, close my eyes,
and confront the soul of my soul
in mutual absorption, reverie.

Now I don’t try to find you.
When I talk,
my throat you pull upward
toward the moon.
And whatever I look at,
my eyes turn and drop like stars
into the inside of my mind.

After that long time
living through violation and failure,
I was out of context,
once removed.
But inside the abandoned perimeters
of my erstwhile life,
I swam —
and found no shores —
and no way to retrace my way
to solid and responsible existence —
and no way to breach my being,
ever again —
and no way to leave
this oceanic presence
who fills my eyes,
distills my flesh,
and speaks to me freely, in constancy,
in no known language,
the words coalescing
to mean life,
and the way through life.

You think I’m lost?
Oh, yes —
and quite incapacitated,
though never was blindness
so sweet,
or dumb surrender so quick
to lead through to treasure.
I bleed darkness only
to reveal the underlying form,
and my loneliness
is a cherished space.

So, I can breathe and drink this ocean,
it’s quite savory,
I don’t think I’ll exchange it
for anything meatier.
And it’s enough for so much, for so long —
I can always say to someone else
drink me —
or touch me, and see —
what seepage —

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