Psyche in Bed

To the god. Tonight
there are no visitors.
 
Stormclouds rise 
over the near mountains, beyond
 
the finch-dense forest.
For nine and ninefold nights
 
I have waited 
in darkness, lulled
 
only by wind-whine—
unmoving, bedded, mind-whir
 
muddles and buzzes
into body. From between
 
teeth seeps forth
a strange issue,
 
dries linen-white, paler
than graying face.
 
Untouchable.
Sores collapse open 
 
skin-strata, shallow 
basins, suppurated
 
sediment. Nerve-sensed 
I survey the subsidence—
 
does blood slow
and flow around the wound?
 
Tissue-silt crumbles, heats,
as tubers sprout through
 
the eschar, onion-stalks
of bone, pungent. The blighted
 
tendons. Each night
hands return to rub
 
limbs with damp cloths
of camphor, but I know
 
my stench persists. Grows
with each sullen moon, slow-flowing
 
night-water. Brackish,
blackening, the unrushing
 
slough, breeding
like rancid trout roe, dug
 
into gravel redds. Eels
draw close, dazed. Residue
 
of river, place where streaming
stops. Tawny trace. Place
 
where water slows, and flow
is fallow. Have I fallen?
 
My shocked knees molder
and fold. My legs
 
lapse. I will not leave.
 
* * *
 
At times I vision
     a shaded window.
The voice-veil
with greened gaze
     avers: no grove
grows on the hillock,
 
and if below it
     somewhere flow
sap-slinks
 
they are locked
     in a rock-drum,
deep and unrising.
 
And what fate,
     spun from a frayed
thread uncut
 
by the rust-knife,
     will sphere me to stay
if Eros does not come?
 
* * *
 
Bright: a begonia blooms. Yolky calyx whorls
below the twisted stigmas. Petalless yellow: the sepals.
 
* * *
 
A dream tasked
to me: disorder
of grain-sand and light.
The love-wind, careless,
 
carrying, knew little 
of chaff and seed, lifting
but what is too 
heavy. It came
 
to pass. Day
plunged into the far massif,
fell like shatter-glass
into the deepening forest.
 
By my hands undertaken:
you were and were.
Another man might 
have beat the harvest,
 
the hand-flail’s whining
chain, unsettling the scale-shells,
then fan the thresh-pile
with vans of air-holding
 
canvas, color of your hair,
husk-grey. I was given
no tools. Raised my hands
to the slats’ beam-slits,
 
let your prayer-name rise.
And from great height,
over the mountain-shadows,
the winds, thinned-warm,
 
startled cool eddies
of dry-spooled air.
Unweaving the grain,
half-crazed scatter of field-fray,
 
hazed, condign. Rainclouds
followed the crossed
currents, the streaming 
from the sky’s raised face.
 
Were you there, resting
on the low hay-bed,
looking toward me as I left?
Where I did not see,
 
as a last breeze lazed
in the wooden hold, 
the granary.
Now what remains is only
 
cold and golden.
 
* * *
 
A door deepens into the marble-mottle floor. My jewelbox, gilt-crusted, fills with gems, pale, opaque, vivecon, combivir, kaletra, truvada. The box, plucked open like a square-set string. Should they be bezeled, set in shallow-cupped gold, fastened to rusted ears? My arms are furred with sloe-blue molds.
 
* * *
 
The five-fingered god-hands dream.
The thin indigo bird, startled, leaves.
 
* * *
 
Foot-whisper of a woman—
 
You, with paper-scent fingers,
within the bruise-black hall—
 
Go where I cannot. Find.
You, I know your hands—
 
Your legs, they will take you.
And once he is found I command
that his stiff limbs be burned—
 
String him up, dangle him
where all will watch,
where any who loves him
may freely go to weep—
 
You will not find me there—
 
* * *
 
The second task-dream:
to winnow thin
sticks from the sharp-sliver
arrows. Fine finger-work
for tips of small-silver:
by feel to find
the breaking-down
of browns. O were I
an arrow: freed 
from the bow-string 
to become vector—No: 
quivered into one thing.
 
* * *
 
As a pulley shakes
when rope runs
through it. 
 
The bushes
new-bloomed, shivering,
opening the meadows
 
dowered with trees—
heavy-leaved, hovering
above, and the silent
 
star-pulses, alive.
Spring crawls into
eyes and scratches 
 
its way out.
When he comes,
I almost do not
 
notice his light
form, gauzed arrival,
this low black 
 
breeze-blow,
the feathered air
suspending him
 
above me—
when he is not
here, it is as if
 
he is not here.