Thomas Rain Crowe

Last Rites

When it snows, I’m jealous of the clouds.
When it is hot and humid, I’m jealous of the sun.
If it sleets or rains, I’m jealous of the lakes
and rivers, or the oceans from where rain came.
I want to know the name of the beginning of things.
I want to see its face.
Feel its breath on my back when we make love.
Smell the loam of its sweat and sex.
Like wooden ships moving through the sea—

When a plant or an animal dies, I don’t grieve.
I can fix dead flowers,
I can fix the broken wings of birds.
When I was blind, I could sense everything.
It was because of everyone else’s blindness
that I couldn’t see.
My prayers are always full of tsunamis and tears.
And I’ve given away all my clothes.

In this heaven of sadness, even God
doesn’t care if I cry. His ménage à trois
is the end all to end all and
he talks about us with a dialect that
sounds like a stolen voice.
This desert is an illusion,
a piss-pot of crème brûlée
Happiness never tasted this good:
an enchanted nightshade with large rose lips.
are everywhere to keep me away

It’s time to get up for work.
There are flowers to be fixed
and broken wings to mend.
That’s only half the world’s problems,
the other half I’ll have to mend in my sleep!
It’s winter, and already the monsoons are
hijacking the jet stream into outer space.
Now, nothing is safe from jealousy or
a love of pain.

Bring on the rain!
A little water won’t burn these wounds or
disengage my lust. Transfigure it to snow.
We all know    that nothing is really far from flesh.
And Earth is a garden    covered in holy vines.
Let’s make great wines! Luminous hors d’oeuvres!
And do nothing else but drink!
How’s that for horseplay? How’s that
for the broken exegesis of dreams?

Farewell O beautiful bodies and
my atrocious verse, I’m all dried up.
Out of luck.
This is my last breath,
the last letters
from a lifetime of searching through words
to prove that I can spell.
What the hell.
The night-birds have gone to roost and
tourists are taking pictures of the noise.
It’s all a shambles.
Everything sings.

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