& yet cockatrices of deep sleep
startle you back to awesome wakeninsg—
Why should your heart fear?
Your words, Madonna, betray a fawn’s-guile
prancing in madness & cruel nonchalance
the huntsman’s circular exile
perihelion of remembered things
venom & sudden storms
that close, at imagined intervals, windows
but open rear doors of desire!
Childhood, Madonna, is its own perversity, mire
Ever the chimeral clock chimes
& serpents of signals, old age, styles
twist you deeper into a lair of lowing lovers,
cockroaches of cheap cafes, hollow bells—
O In the bull of our heart’s querencia, secrets you devise:
Letters, phones, endearing, embrace of voices
that proclaim how greatly your loneliness
is their own
while dogs of desolation bark in the piercing molt of stars:
O Love among children is most ephemeral!
O Love among heathens is most tengential!
O Love among boozers is most superficial!
& Cains who rule their circle of madness
by the thumb hide like costly merchandise
their poisonfruits & arcadies of love
that envelop all—their devouring hearts,
history of cordials, circumnavigation of conventions,
the quick of love & dead of desire—
Or even none!
Beware then if the owl strikes:
O Gentleness of all heart that knifes
the brats of bastard love
in the onyx of the Steel Eye.