Irkallas White Caves

 I believe that a young woman
Is standing in a circle of lions
In the other side of the sky.
In a little while I must carry her the flowers Which only fade here; and she will not cry If my hands are not very full.
± Fiery antlers toss within the forests of heaven And ocean’s plaintive towns Echo the tread of celestial feet.
O the beautiful eyes stare down… What have we done that we are blessèd? What have we died that we hasten to God? ± And all the animals are asleep again In their separate caves.
Hairy bellies distended with their kill.
Culture blubbering in and out Like the breath of a stranded fish.
Crucifixion in wax.
The test-tube messiahs.
Immaculate fornication under the smoking walls Of a dead world.
I dig for my death in this thousand-watt dungheap.
There isn’t even enough clean air.
To die in.
O blood-bearded destroyer! In other times.
(soundless barges float down the rivers of death) In another heart These crimes may not flower… What have we done that we are blessèd? What have we damned that we are blinded? ± Now, with my seven-holed head open On the air whence comes a fabulous mariner To take his place among the spheres— The air which is God And the mariner who is sheep—I fold Upon myself like a bird over flames.
Then All my nightbound juices sing.
Snails Pop out of unexpected places and the long light lances of waterbulls plunge into the green crotch of my native land.
Eyes peer out of the seaweed that gently sways Above the towers and salt gates of a lost world.
± On the other side of the sky A young woman is standing In a circle of lions— The young woman who is dream And the lions which are death.

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