The Empress Of Contrails Writes Upon Darkness - Anxiety Of Influence - Poem by Warren Falcon
for Anthros Del Mar
I, on the other hand,
have lain down with
My tent is worn out.
Stains mark love-cries,
some blood where tongues
are ground down to root
words, utterance hard
pounded, soft tissue
torn letter by letter,
tender verbs opened to
pain, that which is paid
for more than alabaster
embraces and this strangling
My tent has drained more
of love's body than a mortuary.
Spikenard scented oils taint
fabric folds and flesh. Rote,
worn pillows are daily, sometimes
hourly turned where I half expect
to find teeth or coins hoping
still for one true word for
love without name else it flies,
moths repelled instead by flame,
pillows revealing nothing
but I turn them still.
Oasis and cloaca,
love birds parched,
now moves caravansary
toward heart's always
There are many before
the sun rises.
Perhaps my name goes
before me, my press,
Empress of Contrails,
peacocks in tow,
trailing tallies, scores,
all faces hands have held,
and yearning beyond possibility
hesitant dawn's mourning doves.
Recall how hot winds blow loudly
as do I, billowing the tent. Men
cry, mad for my return yet burns
no desert impervious to heat of
all kinds, even human, excepting
the heart, its capacities to startle,
its dunes in vast stretches beat,
beat for what moonlight can only
suggest to scorpions in silver
shadows, pitying serpents coiled
smug in their ability to shed skin,
unlike the veiled men.
Hide what cannot be unwritten
though this trail of brocaded
skulls in time returns to sand.
One cannot see this hand
waving goodbyes, the other
concealing tint and quill.
Through ages, upon human vellum,
through cycles unending and same,
what heart heat bids, I write best
upon darkness, eyes closed, tent
open to all who may, supplicant,
come wandering in.
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