Waking in the Dark

 

1.

 

The thing that arrests me is

how we are composed of molecules

(he showed me the figure in the paving stones)

arranged without our knowledge and consent

like the wirephoto composed

of millions of dots

in which the man from Bangladesh

walks starving

on the front page

knowing nothing about it

which is his presence for the world

 

 

2.

 

We are stsanding in line outside of something

two by two, or alone in pairs, or simply alone,

looking into windows full of scissors,

windows full of shoes. The street was closing,

the city was closing, would we be the lucky ones

to make it? They were showing

in a glass case, the Man Without A Country.

We held up our passports in his face, we wept for him.

 

They are dumping animal blood into the sea

to bring up the sharks. Sometimes every

aperture of my body

leaks blood. I don’t know whether

to pretend that this is natural.

Is there a law about this, a law of nature?

You worship the blood

you call it hysterical bleeding

you want to drink it like milk

you dip your finger into it and write

you faint at the smell of it

you dream of dumping me into the sea.

 

3.

 

The tragedy of sex

lies around us, a woodlot

the axes are sharpened for.

The old shelters and huts

stare through the clearing with a certain resolution

—the hermit’s cabin, the hunter’s shack—

scenes of masturbation

and dirty jokes.

A man’s world. But finished.

They themselves have sold it to the machines.

I walk the unconscious forest,

a woman dressed in old army fatigues

that have shrunk to fit her, I am lost

at moments, I feel dazed

by the sun pawing between the trees,

cold in the bog and lichen of the thicket.

Nothing will save this. I am alone,

kicking the last rotting logs

with their strange smell of life, not death,

wondering what on earth it all might become.

 

4.

 

Clarity,

 

spray

 

blinding and purging

 

spears of sun striking the water

 

the bodies riding the air

 

like gliders

 

the bodies in slow motion

 

falling

into the pool

at the Berlin Olympics

 

control; loss of control

 

the bodies rising

arching back to the tower

time reeling backward

 

clarity of open air

before the dark chambers

with the shower-heads

 

the bodies falling again

freely

 

faster than light

the water opening

like air

like realization

 

A woman made this film

against

 

the law

of gravity

 

5.

 

All night dreaming of a body

space weighs differently form mine

We are making love in the street

the traffic flows off from us

pouring back like a sheet

the asphalt stirs with tenderness

there is no dismay

we move together like underwater plants

 

Over and over, starting to wake

I dive back to discover you

still whispering, touch me, we go on

streaming through the slow

citylight forest ocean

stirring our body hair

 

But this is the saying of a dream

on waking

I wish there were somewhere

actual we could stand

handing the power-glasses back and forth

looking at the earth, the wildwood

where the split began

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