millenium

May 28, 2008

Two hundred feet below the high rise, and soon,
the cars will loose their horns at everything.
Celine Dion offends the French with her Canadian accent –
she’s there on the TV, in a dress like a mirror ball;
you are with me, drinking champagne.

We squeeze lemon juice onto oysters
who tremble in their shells, pale by candle flame.
I am sipping flesh from a crescent moon.

The hours embrace, then expire without protest.
You sit before me, latte skinned
on tight North African curves,
talking to your friends in language I am free of,
relieving me both of silence and the need to speak
though sometimes I do speak, when you stop,
lean forwards on your elbows and explore
or we worry at translations like meat caught in teeth.

Yesterday, Reims cathedral looked about to awaken –
encrusted with statues of the beatified
carved in stone the colour of dirty mustard,
their eyes watering with piety.
Now, at midnight, spirit blows through the walls

like a god cooling his food,
pulverising the shells around them.
Awakened, they must be sounding the horns,
or else it’s city folks begging to be saved
from saints’ swords and angels’ tridents.

Our eyes flicker in time with the candle flame.
The door opens; metal reflects decor and digested skin.

The army of heaven can’t believe that on this day, of all days,
we’re having a dinner party, rather than praying
or gouging out sin with a rusty apple corer.

I smile over my gateaux, tell them:
that’s the trouble with the living,
but the living is good.

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One Response to “millenium”

  1. still a classic, endlessly.

    A poem that really takes me somewhere in an emotional and geographical sense. the acute intricacy of this astounds me. It reads like a holiday, and any good “vacation” should at times take on the colour of a pilgrimmage of sorts. To me this poem is lightness and weight, a sense of spirituality, and of the life that happens when you’re making other plans. its a good poem to take at ones own pace, to stroll through. wonderful.

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