Saturday, August 14, 2010

82. The Milk of Lions

No food in the morning
and an aniseed arak as
first sustenance of the day.
A bit of lamb, loin
of lamb, following, tender
in its lack of distance from
the blood of the lamb,
soft pink flesh, and teeth
cut it through. Arak as
liquorice, water and power,
what sway it holds against
the mind, if in its grip
one might feel it, slipping,
but not, the mind feels
its way through and
through it once again, for
the sun shines hot against
the skin, and that slight
discomfort confirms life.
I believe I am alive, and
there sits with me a small
headache to keep me whole,
focus on the world to see it,
even when it sits inside me,
the greatest beast the beast
of realization, knowing and
thus making it real, what
a dream would keep from
one if given enough of one’s
life. The motion of driving
is a movement forward one
cannot feel and swaying
from side to side and the
catch on the curves of
one’s body in the palm of
the car, one little reminder
of the gravity of it, and
moving as if moving
proved the breath of life.
Holding, just before the
tunnel, my breath, the
snaking under the great
Chesapeake, cars in two
lines, and my head
begins, voiceless, to hum.
Airless and the arak,
the head with a warm
humming to it, but
disquiet, too, as if breath
must be held, as if the
tunnel’s filled with water
and the need to swim
through it. The humming
in the head and the
humming in the tires of
the cars in two lanes,
and (you would understand
this) the staring forward
as if into something and
through most things, the
concentration on a future
place unseen but wanted,
to will the body forward
as the car moves forward
by small pressures against
a pedal, and cars humming
through the tube that
directs this flow of cars
out, into sunshine and
air, the gasp at the release,
and breathing again, as if
breath were proof of life,
loss of death, continuation
of blood and flow, all those
substances that must move
continually through the
body, to ensure its survival,
to ensure it, as one, as you,
as person after person, as if.
Driving north and singing,
to the window, or through,
a song that comes in waves
and waving, a song that
comes with wordless words
and sounds of the body,
as if the body were a way
of feeling or being, as if
there were something outside
the window to hear it, as if
there were inside every
stone the frozen pancreas
of someone who had died
and we were—and we find
ourselves as if we were—
surrounded by the multiple
deaths and dyings of a life
and wondering if they were ours.

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