There is no skin for our ceiling.
The moon, like an animal,
hovers over and around our houses.
In their caves, twitching iguanas live their small deaths
while, caught by moonlight, my friends go sleepless.
I follow my heart in circles, mutter protests to the stars,
running first against, then with
the incredible crocodile.
There is no skin–not any–for the ordinary world.
The dead in their graves are still for a very long time.
Then they rise to pass again around the circle.
The children are easily sleeping.
Tomorrow they will question the old women
with the candor that is necessary
to rub the callouses from their souls.
Straining to the song of life which calls,
the mouths of the rising dead eat the steaming earth
and under them, in the earth,
are layers of the innocent
with the hearts of dead flowers
because they have neither the fragrance of life,
nor the beat of it.
When they were alive, they
spilled coins from their purses
and from their mouths, spilled prayers for their recent sins.
All of them balanced the two sides of sadness–
the sadness of seeing, and the sadness of not seeing.
At the time of death, all wash themselves clean of their friends.
And God, the rider through life––
through all things holy as well as all things evil––
hovers near the ceiling
while the refugees shake their brothers,
like water, from their hair.
who in life took passage in an ordinary boat,
who left his resurrection like a butterfly disappearing,
now travels with light,
words like new flowers on his tongue,
Whispering, “Now. Wake up.”
A sentry walks the escarpment of the reservoir–
an angel who grew up in the trench of the soldier
and the boat of the apostle––
an angel with the teeth of a serpent
who sings all night,
his beautiful face lifted to the violent sky.
“Where are the hands of my mother?”
There is no skin for his ceiling.
No skin. No skin.
The aqua sky?
Gone, my friends,
replaced by fire.
No skin left for our world.
We are caught in a too-long day
that fades into inevitable night.
We lie awake,
our minds throbbing to music
from the drum of the moon
that leads us into dreams
where we forget the large lie
and remember, finally, that
the sins of the heart
are not just