IN THE WAKE OF DREAMS

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9. THE CONSUMATION



I dream myself waking
In a meadow still sleepy
Dew freshly minted
Sweet sounds in the air
Damp with desire—
Hardly touching the ground
The reed-player on the horizon
Approaching me.

Enraptured
I stand in his path
Waiting—
Hold my breath when he stops
Before me and places
His finger across my lips
To prolong the hour.
Stilled
I touch his moss-green hair
Green eyelids green attire
Fingertips collecting green scents
Islands of desire.

He moves on and
Apple in hand
I step into his lean shadow
And follow him to the edge
Of the meadow where
The reed flute falls silent.
Three times I walk around him
Before I reach for his hand and
Place it on my navel—
Both now waiting for a sign
To end the waiting.


*

A band of females breaches the silence.
Taking the apple away they
Pull me back into the meadow
Whispers swarming
"Not here... Not yet...Not now...
The spirit still virgin..."

Laughter robust in our bellies
We walk back in time
Intimacies rampant.
A female bares her breasts
And before long we all
Shed garments like skin
Walking naked into the mists
Of time.

Inside a cloud of steam
A score of suns peeking
We plunge into a pool of blood
Sobering.
Then move to a bubbling
Sulphurous pool where
Blue flames flickering on our lashes
We scrub each other's opulent flesh.
Then move to an empty pool
Where standing around it
Breasts in hand
We fill it with mother lore
All aiming for the foaming center.

Dipped in mother's milk
Rinsed with almond milk
They take me to a high bed
Night flower aromas braiding
Hilarious expectations.


*

Oils were rubbed into my skin
Hands were laid on my body.
Before
In the depth of shadows
A sultry female voice started reciting
The Book of First Desires:

"Thou shall worship no one.
Neither God nor Man nor Self."
"And have no idols to pray to"
Echoed a female chorus—
Words rolling in the maternal void
Like white-hot pebbles.

"Thou shall be woman among women
Man among men, child among children
Beast in the jungle tree in the forest."
"And be thyself always"
Added the chorus
Heat waves invading the void.

"Thou shall covet thy father thy brother
Thy son and thy neighbor's husband."
"And seek no other solace"—
Brushfires scorching the void.

"Thou shall taste the blood of thy children
So their spirit may soar."
The odor of blood
Stilled us all.

Stripped of virtue
Stripped of sin
Spirit virgin pale in a lilac slip
Red apple back in hand
I was put outside.


*

In the street of temptation
Sidewalks crowded with men
Scents trailing my body
I walk tall through men
Looking me over.
The eyes of a warrior
Burnished victorious
Pitches desire.
Father's steady gait beside me
Stops me from running
Into the warrior's arms.
A knight in armor lifts
The visor in greeting
And as I lean toward him
My brother steps forth to stop
His sister from crossing the line.
When a poet sporting laurels
Eyes me with informed attention
My legs refuse to move and now
My son joins the father and brother
And before long a lover
Is at my side—
Four men abreast
Between me and the rest of men
Walking the street of desire.

Together we pass rows of women
Strapped in black shawls
Narrow shadows behind thin curtains
Waiting for one false move.

At the far edge of the primeval meadow
I turn to face my men
All four in their manly pride.
Embracing staggering stumbling
We collapse under a plum tree
Plums grown enormous in waiting.


*

The serpent of paradise—
Forked tongue sampling
The odors of sensations—
Was watching me.
I offered it the apple and glory be
The serpent locked its jaws on it
And took the apple back into
The foliage of forbidden knowledge.

Rapt with joy
The father found the daughter
The brother the sister
The son the mother
The lover the woman—
Daughters sisters mothers
Rejoice, before
The moon comes courting
Before it reminds you
Of paradise lost.


*


Under the plum tree
The earth opened and
Entwined like a tribe we fell
Through eons of forgetting
Into the rusty violets
Of the Primal Smithy
The Smith himself
Giant naked purple
Striking white iron.

Still giddy still giggling
We failed to notice that
Each strike of hammer was
A galactic heartbeat taking us
Back in time—
Infant me in the arms of infant
Father brother son lover.
In embryonic intimacy
An instant before oblivion
My name was called—

I stood up at once
Tall and woman-wise—
My spirit
Iron forged by desire
Ready to fulfill its destiny
Separate
From that of flesh.


*

A bloodshot vein in stone
Took me to steps but
The door at the top
Would not open.
Through the gaping planks
I could see torrents of rain
Whipping trees
Electric flames dancing
On the shoulders of a figure
Waiting for me out there—
The instant I let go of the door
It swung open by itself and
The figure shrouded in black
Extended her hand in greeting—
I took it as a wave
Takes to shore.


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