Black Dog Cult
Flame, what is it the limit of—
That glamorous blackening of a winter sunset
the color of raw steak
over the blossoming waves—Beauty
a strange flower, the wind scabbing darkly.
Haven’t I seen nakedness blink then vanish? And wild rising
the Santa Monica Mountains ringed now in that pale blue fire
Of erotic distance.
as if the edges of the earth are
Sharp attentions, guttering nebulae.
Unseen bitch, pissing on the grass—
torching the green silence
like a urine darkness
with your personal gleam.
here, leaf or star
knifing the body’s warm nebula. Let’s die
with the word on our lips: Acquired Acquired
dogs of the earth
our want our want
like a curse in the air, a shout
in love with itself—a sigh
in love with the wounded
repetitions, the mists rising
euphonic, silver, cooling the parking lots
late winter. Listen. It’s too much, our quietude
our bareness here—the stars
just flashing their little flasks of absence
hour. For soon you’ll have to
speak with absence like a winter
sky to itself, the self to its dying
bewilderments. Human is this heated
breath rising, breath rising in the late
immortal air. For you don’t know why
but you know your blood
like a black leaf unfurling itself
hotly. You know
the constellations are cursing
feverish distances. Know into this same
your last silhouette will blacken like a dog’s
music into a cult of Nothing. . .
The Last Eucalyptus
I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.
By daylight, the gold battalion
drinks, drinks—all eyeless. The presence
meaningfully obscured. How the leaves
rapt between shadow and movement, gleam
of what is beautiful too briefly. You were too
strange. A constellation. The braille of quick starlight—
They’d appear then vanish, like a wind finishing
the care of small coins. Didn’t I long once
for the sea, its repetitive sprawl and burn? I longed
once to love you. You appeared, you appeared. I needed to
drink your silence in at night, I needed to
struggle for your meaning, your musical body, to listen to
the stillness, while—wing, brief shore, great dare of your trillion
you erupted softly through my sleep. When they cut you
down I felt half of myself
angry, awake at what was missing, a weight
flown, some part of you reckoning—O
signals of distance and rapture—Departed
Darkness—preserving still the ways
I might have become myself, but didn’t.
The new grass is gleaming, like a garden of syringes.
The exact shape of the fallen
jacaranda blossoms as they brown.
I have the thirst of a phantom
blue-barbed, arrow-eyed, sharp-haired, delinquent.
When I walk into Bloomingdale’s
I wake up into the ravenous, the rising
increase of Spring—that flayed gold moment near
the tulips’ throats
as they drink and fall, drink
and fail. O arrow-sudden & delicate
touch, where my breath cuts. It sails—
Here, the April racks flourish
the stripped blossoms by Klein, Hermés, Versace, Gucci,
Boss & Burberry. I am not alone. The voice
of the darkness stutters bodies. Birds-of-paradise, daffodil,
bougainvillea, black calla. The clock vine opening
such looks—King’s Shade, and celosia.
This cashmere is my favorite, its embrace especially Vampire
Red. Like the rose when it empties itself, darkening
platelets, sleeves. The empty shapes of men . . .
Clothing is such memory.
It’s why I spend all my money.
At sunset we’ll sit close enough
so that your laughter is the season
so that your musk is slaughter like the dusk is no more
in your hair.
I close my eyes. You are with me. Goodbye.
Later, I buy two styles of Bulgari, like two styles of dying,
The shadow of the absolute speaks like a nightmare.
So much opening brightly
the absolute puzzle of a personal emptiness.
When you hold me we visit the shadow.