Casablanca, and Poland
I will not walk to the precipice of the desert -
I can no longer allow my skin to make the walk, whereupon
I once sauntered in the echo of the shofroth
glaring garnet sun scraping the surface of your eyelids,
or parting feted incense plums from above our heads.
I did not walk into the desert
alone, though I slept above
the haunted macadam; street
alcoves, bedraggled as a bride
I slept in someone else's arms.
Yes, I felt the curves
of foreign doorways; those
arabesque stitches of thread, sowing
diamonds and putrid bird bones
into the hems of corsets; gloved
fingers like that of a negress slave
Egress the lesser by and leaves;
one may pray lightly, if one prays
at all that the city may not banish me to
though, I confess, my want only was
to move my lips across your face.
I did not walk into the antiquated deserts -
Though I screamed garish Wagnerian overtures,
braiding young Isolde's hair by the
mantle where a portrait of our creator
above the brick.
Our namesakes came from
older faiths than these, and
vaporous ghosts giggling
for the gallows of decentralism,
god's who grew up
from the earth like
god's who crossed the oceans to
Denmark, Poland, and Russia;
god's who stood naked before us,
while we gazed on them with
When I call out your name
I watch abated while you pull
a clay cup to your tongue
take all of the water from
it until the blackness of your
mouth stuns the air into stillness.
I took to the sea with you, so as
to be free of the desert.
Love is fetishism, I have
learned, and fascism is loathsome
to an uneducated woman's mind.
It was here, in the white bracken; here
in the Moorish sleep; here in the remainder
of decaying flesh that I learned to love you.
Learned to speak several languages through
the yoke of my one tongue; albeit meverly and
slick across your jaw. I remember wanting
to lull your mouth into a calmness that would
keep you with me forever.
Speak softly, I would say, in those
dangerous hours of infant identity,
and you would scratch fingertips
down my neck so gently.
Together we bred continents,
Be weary, you warned me, before I
could fall asleep, tomorrow the ocean's
will become a plague of punishment,.
rain down upon us, a desert full
of lightening and luxurious eclecticisms
I feared how
unafraid I really was.
Girls bloom at night like roses,
numb to everything but arms,
changeable, like the desert
which follows you with it's wondering eye;
and each outcry that hangs from
swollen lips dries up into a speck
of sand destined to become an eclipse.