From Lake of Dreams

From Lake of Dreams

Tomás Harris

I. Sea of Nectar

And he discovered a lovely shore
where fresh water
ran cool along its slender length;
there was a fair meadow, many towering palm trees,
more than he’d ever seen;
he discovered huge nuts, the kind from India,
I think he’s saying,
and giant mice, from India, too,
and enormous crabs;
there were birds and a powerful musk smell:
he believed it was the meadow of Our Lady of Miracles,
he believed he’d died as he walked naked
among all the palm trees in that meadow,
like palms in the middle of Chile
whose trunks flow with thick honey,
transparent mahogany,
as if they were bodies oozing their wombs;
that’s what he was thinking, maybe out of sheer nakedness;
there was a giraffe made of milk,
turning transparent,
as if sculpting itself into the deep celestial sky;
that sky couldn’t hurt his gaze,
it was a distant sky of silence,
like a blank page,
and a flock of birds faintly outlined
appeared (the way everything here
appears at a glance)
as the only crack in that ferocious harmony;
the virgin was also turning transparent from nakedness,
from milk,
no maidenhair below her navel,
her honey tresses falling on the grass.

II. Arid Bay

Here’s your inheritance, Admiral:
vast armies of imbecilic, soulless men,
green as flesh passing through death,
so dirty and lost
that they carry their royal crosses
in red latex or oil
painted on their souls;
this is your inheritance:
this vast cemetery stretching far as the river-bank,
all of us who wait beneath
the vanished marble,
whores, sick men, men whose brains are eaten away,
this flayed procession of penitents,
as if it were the middle of the 14th Century,
these dances at Saint Guy,
the Sanbenitos they hang from the whores’ teats,
and just because they’ve dedicated themselves to love;
the sea was lost,
there was no returning,
this plain so white can’t be it,
it’s pure gray
sand dunes that creep into the city
that coat the tables, the dishes, the furniture with dust,
heaps of ash on every shelf,
in every book,
in every corner,
ash that covers our sheets,
love itself,
and sticks to your body;
because of this, we did what we did, Admiral,
and we squandered Death like a fruit,
the violence necessary;
one couldn’t continue advancing through your dream
because in the nightmare blondes in black lace
were covering your imagined world
with fear.
“Fear of what?”

Posted: April 9, 2012 at 4:29 am

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