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KIELY, Kevin

House Of Figs

the ‘Inbox’ lights up with ‘Bethany’ and clarions like room service

from the distant past: ‘Ride the shock waves of changes,

full circles, and settling or shaken perspectives…’

the feverish reply launched into the echoing miles of ether

towards Washington in the Pacific North West:

‘how bleak the backlit Plutonian shores of Sligo...’

I am conflicted between images of you: one is the female

crucified Jesus. Sunday school revolt, ideational acting out

of the repeated headline: ‘Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani’

a saddle of calligraphy on each thigh from the ink-jetting pen

anoint these sheets with the mask of your face

strut those ghostly blue outline tattoos of Kentucky:

the speeding boxcar, the saltshaker amidst healed scars

and burns, while civilized life inscribed in law

demands life be lived: ‘Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani’—

what kind of lawful life produced

a phrenology on your Lempicka thighs

in the white room that grew goose-flesh walls

the cuts around kneecaps released the flowing

lifelines of wine down your sloping limbs

and through you, a lover can enter the house of figs

the hazel eyes of the sphinx burn with fiery gems

one eye for sunrise, the other sunset

from where does our hope, our joy, our ecstasy come—

from our tragedy, is your answer. Yet, your post-romantic

‘goodbye until.’ Turning into the alley with a wilting hand

‘some things last a long time.’ The moon shines stark

from a broken cloud illuminating the goddess and

her incense cigarette. ‘Some things last forever.’

I shall rise from the dead by your anointing

I shall not need to ask of this world in this world:

shall any woman forgive our desertion? shall any woman

forgive herself for falling in love with a man?

and the leaves of the fig tree

shroud their fruit in the gale, beyond tragedy