A voluptuous orange tastes
Like life to the tongue. Then follows
A swoon. A rock shifts trembling
From an earthquake. Hold me then,
My goddess, or I will fall –
To the temptations of my friend’s
Beautiful wife. I am a juggler and
A fire eater: I relish –
The juice of pomegranates.
Do not try me, I fall easily. I have
No strength beyond the poet’s sullen gaze.
My morality is a little frayed
At the edges. I am beyond pretense.
And the quarantine worsens my appetite
And my desolation.
So there! I have fled from reason, and nestle
From this elevation where I see God
In the hints of the cleavages
Of sacred mountains. I have died the death
Of the dreamer dreaming of their contours.
The burning beds have silkworms
Writhing with the lightning bolts
That come from revelations, and a little cognac,
And invocations that free the will
From the iron-cagemade by Semitic gods.
Tie me to my posts then, before I leap
That immortal leap of the panther, caged
By decree, to a postmodern Zoo. To stray
Is not good for my health. Nor is to step
Out of the doors into the ravenous noon
Of an epidemic. But one’s hunger is stronger
Than one: and if I am to stray, there will be
The bolt, to root the yam from its base.
This city is agog with moans. There is
The epidemic of dark desire –
Which they say is from Wuhan. Shield me then
My goddess: but if your hands are heavy
With too many supplicants, guide me gently
To my fall, and where I fall, let the roots
Spring, to hold the bole of the Iroko.
Date: December 24, 2021