The question is one of ashes and dust

November 28, 2005

It is not my name, which you have already
inked into one interminable book or the other. Also,
not what virtue I’ve claimed to store up

in two unrelenting fists. Also, not the hands
which wrap around them, these hands
from which I feed, strong though they are,

but defiled. On the Eve of the End of it All,
it is only this: how my lips catch fire,
how I burn exactly, an effigy in my heart, awful

as an offering. How the darkness blesses its shadow
as the indigent lauds his begging bridge. How like a virgin
I’ve trimmed my wick. How well I can wrestle

your mystery to the ground, Angry Angel.
How I blunt my feathers on the blade of your tooth.
How I bleed like Christ through the white of my dress,

my fingers so steady, so stained.