Speak to me of passion.
Serve up the sweet slices,
alien fruit in its liquored blood,
stark and fragrant on the plate,
swift-fire certain in the mouth.
Fan up the guttering torches.
A touch, a glance,
a dark-induced fever clutches my heart
like the language of cellos.
My bare stone rooms grow warm.
I have been a foolish wanton,
baiting the priest-birds
with the bread of my flesh,
ringing the desperate bells,
impaled on the spikes of the lily.
Wake me from my funeral,
from this night-poisoned fugue.
I have entered the church unaware.
Lay me down on the altar of silk
and sacrifice me with a kiss.
Candles kneel in their dishes,
praying on the altar of fruit and knives.
We are one house by the marcasite sea,
one fortress rising bone on bone.
I fall from grace into ecstasy,
taste blood and oranges, the deep salt shock
of your wounded finger, nicked in the carving.
One red pearl sings like a choir on my tongue.
Moon-white blade releases tentative scarlet –
dark flavor of communion, of sugar and stones –
mocking the sweet, marble-skinned divinity of pears.
The luminous cloth is dotted like a bridal sheet.
Now I dwell in the realm of the body,
in honeyed nights, a garden grown wild.
Breasts are moons of vast holiness,
or planets, weighed and worshipped.
I am enchanted by the glow of the long bones,
the ankles’ rolling machinery,
toes like prayer beads, milky opals,
or stars among the vines and flowers.
Pressed to the silks, I’m a scrapbook rose,
a memento in the heavy dark.
I am sweet like melon, basic as seawater,
A velvet pelt, stretched and petted.
Like shadows, I devour you.
e.yon/2002/Fruit & Bones chapbook