I – Water

My desire does not reside here.
It does not reside here and never will.
Over my head, I see black silent waters
bend homeward, brighter than silver.
I am the exact centre of a thirst
and all I need is a thirstier thirst.
This woman who meets me
in mirrors, who you alone truly
undressed – she is out of reach.
Her contours are translucent,
they go up in flames
like cellophane in the blind air.
Your hands are the only borders
I remember, they outline everything
I am and everything I ever was.
I am the line of red ocher
painted on your grave, curving
each letter of your name.

No touch alters your touch
no one seizes me.
When I walk down the streets
in widow’s weeds,
I’m like a color they can’t see
or don’t want to see spilled.
So they call it, simply, piety.
Ignoring black, of all severities,
is entirely made of light.
Like your absence by candles.
How much piety is there inside
a woman’s body when it sighs ?
Does it contains her spasms
when her thighs open to fate ?
I believe they don’t know what to do
with this certainty that the soul
cannot be sent without the flesh.
Each time you came, above
and below me, I vanished
into that one sound which claimed
my body was no longer here.

This is my letter to this azure
that never wrote to us.
The caress of fabrics, the birds,
rocks, dust and blood,
everything on earth, this place
of nonsense and wonder
is nothing but a fragile ritual.
Beasts recite and sing,
sometimes kneel, after days
of hunger, as in prayer,
hoping to be killed by thunder.
I go to bed holding the blue flame
of their breath, lessen the lights,
attend the dark, and offer
the joy we shared in this bed.
The warmth gone, the unborn child.
Piety, the word petrifies me.
Life knows nothing of scrutiny,
only the unceasing, wild liturgy
of the everyday, the repetitive
sacrifice. Death in blossoms,
hearing the wingbeat
of its own advent, lost in rose.
Defeated, one moment
by water.

I am, extend my thirst —

II- War

Corpses are more real
than clay, corpses
are an excess of Real.
Each one is the first one
the world has ever seen,
each one, as we touch it
makes our hand visible
for the very first time,
and the blood running
under our skin beat louder
than the rivers that outlive us.
The colour of the air, of dust,
of olive trees, these can be told,
but never the stone eye
surrendering its last hope.
It is summer and we’re still at war.
It is summer and children
fall like dry cloth in the streets.
Mute. Burning as August soil.
Strings of rain have ceased
lashing the roofs of the city,
our songs hang white
like feverish replicas
of the sun’s disk.
My sisters, my brothers,
look at them. Words leave
them. Mind leaves them.
The phlegm of the sky
astounds the earth.
And I — I who bore no child
stare by their side
at this abstruse vault
expecting no reply.
I, all silence — don’t
beleive in neutrality
only in the translucent canal
of my body.
Cyclamen will bloom
again out of their despair.
I will show them
waters limpid as solitude
issuing from heaven.

You, Bastard King
drunk with war, bathing your name
in gold like a sick God,
Oh None, Oh No One.
So greedy is your heart.
So arid it gives me a penchant
for violence and perfume.
I want — the words consume
themselves, I want —
lays your weakness down
at my door like meat
on a scale. This is what
you’re doing here. Nothing more.
Not hauling your war inside
the Holy City. Not pinning my sisters
to the ground like insects,
legs apart, to offer them
to an insane collector.
For I own an inmost weapon
against you and that head
of your army than privation.
Namely, your blood. Blood
is a caress of water but yours,
yours is a red disaster.
Men might escape from thirst
but from their own blood,
certainly never. Listen —
I am merciless as the moon.
I possess the red tides
of your pulse. Desire beats
loud beneath your skin,
echoing, echoing, like
the shock of ruin.
How you cry after it,
how it violates your will.
This is what you’re doing here.
Nothing more. Not sacking
the One City, not laying down
its Sanctuary.
I am shameless as the sea,
that twirls, that kills.
If I forget the blue roots
of my bones, if I don’ t set them
above my highest joy,
then, let my tongue cleave
to the roof of my mouth.

III – Psalm Of Spasms

Sing, err and Sing —
My people do not march,
they wander. It’s not
a variation of cadence,
rather of kind. Psalms
in their throats never
tarry, they walk against
armies like they waltz.
This is the story of our captivity,
the endless exodus,
the permanent exile.
It flows like an inverted river
running to its source,
inserting here a sign
there building a sigh.
On that Vertical Bridge
I go dressed in red,
wearing the brutal jewels of war.
The world stands negative
beneath my feet
on the perished plans
of Peace — I know
that War and World
will only stop together.
I’ve seen so many birds
in the Divided City
broken, piled as hours,
songs kept coming out
of their chests.
Long gone —
like the wings of angels,
yet clear, eternally beating,
they soar, they say —
Doves, cold is the night,
come shine as snakes.

There’s a word sharp
as a star, precise as the soul,
that turns to a cruel joke
once applied to the body.
Inviolable is the word.
It lies broken in the eyes
of the old wrecks, defined
by fates they could not change.
Life is shameful and the Law
comfortless as salt.
There is no need for more
knowledge. But a blue dew
inhabits the innumerable
atoms of my flesh, seals
the splinters into one.
The Lost Pleiad
has seen that core,
my strangeness, evaporate,
and reach the horizon
where there is a long bar of pure light
where everything is very settled
very still, very pure.
That core cannot be touched.
If I bathe my songs in sex,
touching my enemy’s lips,
altering his breath,
it stays awfully intact, colorful.
It is the one flamboyant recluse,
not me — who owns a name.
This is what the splendor
of the sky has come down to.
There is no other
correspondent hue.

Love, the earth suddenly turns,
turns red. My heart splits
under the vermilion eye
of daybreak. I am offering
myself, offering that land
to hope. I waded life,
whole pools of it, hot
and carmine. Nobody saw me,
stopped me, condemned me.
Blood burst free
from my enemy’s head
splashing my naked skin
like a river of fire.
But I have no song
for the touch, the smell
the spectacle of death.
Death bores me,
I never wanted it.
I want the sons of Israel,
daughters and sons, grandchildren
nobody yet knows
to pause in pleasure.
Their hearts like pomegranates,
all of them, loving the sun.
Yet, I know there is a name
they will all go mad for,
when everything that can fall
will have fallen, when oceans
will all rust ruby red.
I would like to write
that name without pain.
I would like to utter it
without shame — Jerusalem.
Your name comes toward me,
a vision on the retina
of water. Every single letter
like an arrow — blue,
ascending and descending
in rain or dew.
I stand up and watch my hand
trace the one unique
circle of your unbrokenness.
The heart full of summer wine,
not inclined to clot.
There is no endpoint.
Love, like water
is hard to stop.