Monday, April 23, 2007

Sooner or


In my closet there are clothes older than certain
pesticide-resistant species of insects
and I’m told I should throw them out
or donate so that another soul might feel
a kind of nagging shame, as I do,
that from this largeness of spirit comes yet
more largeness of spirit, a kind of moral priapism,
I guess, and in the sentiment I see
the sense. Yet there is a Berlin
Wall hidden between Thinking Good
and Doing Good and though all my long childhood
could be distilled down to sex
should be relied upon only as a last resort,
what movies call the nuclear
, I find good almost never felt good,
a cruel trick played by lexically perverse gods
and befrocked teachers counting
down the days to their ends, their somnolescent ends,
with idle cruelties. Tell me how
marred was my soul when I refused
to travel to Mexico, to Juarez, I think it was,
in order to have one kidney
scooped from my side like cold melon
and given to stunted puppies, barking morosely,
their lives in front of them like rawhide
bones, made to be gnawed away. Happy
with money, she cantered
off into the night and in all the stupid world
I seemed the smallest thing,
blinking into the sun flare of a microscope,
a nematode or diatom or God
knows what. The idea is smallness,
a tattoo stippled across my neck which read
Made in Japan. In my heart
I wanted to die. The small death,
what everyone is always saying the French word
for orgasm means though
I’m not sure I believe it,
as some don’t believe man ever walked on the moon—
it was filmed by Orson Welles,
a last, great prank, yes, yes, yes—
and suddenly this does seem
an orgasm, or a stroll on the scarred moon,
both of them a floating,
a cessation, a suspension, for a time, of gravity,
of disbelief.

No comments: