Monday, January 19, 2009
(from 'THE VIOLENT BEAUTY OF URDA LOUISE')
Your sentences push like needles through my veins
and my eyes are bloodshot.
Here I will call you Charlie and remember how you looked at me
dressed in sky blue
floating over Tremont Avenue.
The first day you touched me
was the last day my body would ever put up the right fight
was the first day I had been so scared in all my life
at the power of pleasure.
For years you trembled me, Godlessly,
in your parent’s row house,
a working class laboratory of joy,
cluttered with pictures
of a white saviour in human form
who looked nothing like me or you.
Every room became dusty with that image of God
including the lower ones
where you saved me.
For a time we fashioned our flesh
into desirable brown skin.
Our singular ambition to light a candle through what we believed
were inevitable life sentences
spent dying in church
after our dreams would defer then decay
illuminated us as human altars sacrificing our own flesh.
You were the first one to bend back into yourself,
dry up and disintegrate,
though you were once the ripest fruit on the vine.
Before you crumpled
you said to me from deep down inside
“Urda, I am sorry
for us both starting an impossible religion.”
There was nothing much left of you
but the basic functions of your limbs
and the visions in your stained glassed eyes.
God killed You, Charlie,
but you needed God more than you needed touching me.
The same God you denied that you said
was an invisible man.
You reached him through the narrowness
Of crack pipes and filled your head with smoke,
Forgetting the memories of the murders, you say you
Committed in the Persian Gulf, forgetting the stroke you had at 31,
And most of all, forgetting your unwillingness to worship a mortal like me.
You Believed their was dignity and righteousness in suffering,
As long as your veins were penetrated by thorns
and God’s holy, holy cross.
Pleasure became your smack,
my silent immeasurable terror,
knowing I worshipped the person you were,
the savior you might have become,
knowing I worshipped something as superficial
as the skin on your body,
the only religion in this world
I could really touch.