Saturday, March 12, 2005

Custodian of a Star

For Philip Lamantia

An arm swept while words leapt

the pile of books spells the story

of a hole in the wall speaking its mind

A grain of star for the love

of a relic’s word

the habit made from eiderdown

and covered in smoke

from a “burnt-out moon”

The gulf that formed

was followed

whenever the sentences

lost their center

whenever mist became a page

We’d undo these words

pulled into their shell

in the sanctuary

and yours on a hill

in a cell receiving light

as a possible sail

A narcotic opening graying

as we speak, strewn pages,

antlers and smokestacks

a watercolor from New York

keeping books in place

From birds to saunas

Mexico to floating plasma

Moroccan clay soldiers

From the pope to no pope

Wound to wound

From inhabiting lives

to vanishing though

it’s all traceable

There you are in your place

and the air keeps that impression



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