When I take up my position
at the base of the westering wall
of Thebes, it is midday.
This time I’m blind; that time I see.
Ifs all a matter of convenience.
The first thing I feel is the heat
on my backside, now as flabby
as a worn out saddlebag.
My brace of genitals
are so disordered as to be almost self-sufficient.
My shape is uniquely eunuchoid.
My breasts. . . but everyone knows about them.
The sun is not terrible from this
aspect but the dusty ground
heats up and before you know it
your bottom is blistered.
One of my myriad acquaintances,
a youngish debater in mathematics,
has kindly lent me a cushion
embroidered with the symbols of his calling.
I feel (and see) their utility, their sterile charm
but I haven’t the temerity
to sit on them.
My face — do I have a face?
A mirror reverberating
with past and future tenses.
The present is here, at the foot of the wall;
oracular, prophetic, procurative.
Hardly in love with life, I am
its esteemed and lousy sojourner.
My blindness has gradually departed
but I find no point in advertising the fact.
The sun palpating their thicknesses,
I can see through the lids, see a thousand leagues
into the aspirations of women,
into the hearts and covered minds of men.