Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A nightmare

Orpheus Song

It's Halloween, night of migration,
a holiday for all of the hungry sightless beings,
these discontent traversers
or trespassers
from the next world into this,
from one face to another.
Formless and seeking shape, a structure,
some peace of place. Where do we come from,
what are we, where are we going?

It's a maze, I fear,
in this crowd of mysteries, the secrets which the world
does not give up. I'm sitting here,
in this impersonal semi-public domain
which is indifferent to all that may come.
All welcomed, none called.
Holograms like brushstrokes flit across
the window and again on the walls, the floors,
the expressions of people as they pass by.
Everything a surface for reflection.

I watch them and my own face,
the moving of light and dark. But I see
no law to it
though I shuffle
through the smoke and theater,
the license of one after another.
Here today, gone tomorrow. Borrowed,

In a nightmare, I chase death incarnate.
Through hallway and corridor, lost
in a ruin of internality. Then
death stops.
She stops and turns. Her face
shimmers half-masked with peacock and raven.
But her teeth -- her teeth shock tiny, white, and even.
Death's baby teeth smile at me babysweet.
Give me a lullaby, I want to say. To lull
panic's red tooth and claw
as it races through night and song.
To swaddle this confusion
into nomos, chapter and verse. Anything but --

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