In dreams, my Desire chomps wildly
at its bit, galloping in triplet beats, but
she flees, unburdened by her body, while my
sleep-bound legs are mute and paralyzed.
Even here, I know my Desire is fractious
and surreal, unhinged. Even in my dreams I try to
suppress it, immolate it at the origin, but Love keeps
slipping it the key at night.
So while Dr. Jekyll is anxious, asleep,
Mr. Hyde carries away the good
doctor on his back toward disintegration.
And in the morning quiet, I wake poetic,
underneath a pair of lightning-fractured oaks, fists
clenched around handfuls of hard fruit.
Great heart: they will
not replace the burnt out bulb
in their spirits or hear the laurel murmuring
outside. What difference to fashion’s tin
ear? One clang is like the others.
Each lover they prefer to be blessedly
benign (in their unique way).
“Kudos!” Then the next thing.
Most have forgotten you already, so
it’s even more important now
that you do not fall back
when they fail to note the quiet
rising of your heart like light.
Kings want the monopoly
on violence. The people want
what they want. The kings want
to give it to them: “Vox populi vox dei!” So
the starry silence rustles Fortune’s wings,
the mountains of ore, the rivers
that shaped them—silent speech
to kings, to time itself: I begot he who
begot you; fight that and fight your own life.
My anger and wrath
are only what’s left after
refusing this: what is, is right.
Blest is the man who doesn’t
walk with the fast talkers or stand
with shit stirrers,
who doesn’t sit listless
with the cynics—
he’s happy to be
and knows it.
And what he knows
and so he knows it.
And is satisfied.
But the damned are
always hungry. They always
change their mind.
They’re always leaving before
their footprints disappear.
Micah Towery lives in South Bend, Indiana, where he teaches and writes. His current writing projects involve poetry translations and a novel. Some of his previous translation work appeared in his poetry collection Whale of Desire.