The dead lie like Rome,
Like toppled sunshine in stone,
From a boy who had blown
Into the seashell of the Forum,
Heard back, in restoning, the alley of home,
The narrow basket-flowered angiportum…
But, lips too strong, let out unknown
The stone-witherings of Medusa
And the bone dust of empire.
Books are like the sun’s rays,
Still giving off fingertip warmth,
Though long cut off from the source.
Books are sunlight and Greek silence
Captured in glass firefly jars.
Her eyes are the lighthouse of the Pharos,
Alexandrian, bronze-mirrored fire flung round
The gloaming coastal sorrow like sand-glittered spears.
Her praying mantis limbs of light,
Sever-poised for needlepoint strike
At the jeweled glint of wings in dim, rare-seen limits,
Now one with her rasping sea of scarab beetle husks.
Paper lantern prose,
Crematorium of hearts,
Beating quick to ash.
Like the frog of batrachian notes in the inkwell of swamp,
And the bee waggling hieroglyphs to the papyrus of hive,
Like the flight of birds in the palm of radiating skyline,
And the sad might of the world to the caged dog’s eye.
She kisses like the mock moon.
Her lies have beauty.
Winter is a cucumber, all ice and evergreen,
A frogskin in formaldehyde,
Cross-sectioned for slides.
What veiny depth from circle flakes is seen.