Taunting fertile Bethlehem

Wearing what the old folks spinning in
Hell wore tunics like bedsheets the color
of the second week of pitiable Creation
when the fellow let his pet morons name
everything that could be unmade he said:

Time travel is as easy as letting your eyes
fall out dangling like wax off a letter
or easy as watching your cells divide
your mind in several adolescent wanderings,
but don’t travel too far, don’t muddy the nest.

Wearing those tunics must have been magical
woven somewhere in South America a tongue
like turning senile at age twenty we listened
to the fellow his brow bent and furtive
after boiling out us the strangest species

and counted to three our heads lulling down
where stature is constituted the fellow
flitting away his psalms blackening the road.
We dissolved in a mess of billowing cloth
and awoke in the artery of a zealous township.

Naked in Bethlehem we start naming names.
I name the animals. She names the buildings.
Dolorin, a donkey whipped daily taskmaster
of swapping faces with mirror-inventors.
Habalath, a place for Bohemians to lounge.

The psychology of Bethlehem we find tiring.
All fragrance and sweat. Poor folks they
huddle around the fellow we met his humor
all dried up his complex enormous his being
testament to loneliness kin to pure Creation.

I nod to Amelia (we have found clothes by now,
given to us by a maid heavy with child her eyes
like the bottom of a working man’s feet) and point:
look how serious the gravity of it this business
of training the brain to produce its own narcotics!

Amelia nods to me (we are standing by the way near
a pool of water it reflects our shins in it is
a weary lunatic smelling of a salt-marsh) and points:
look how mass compassion both coddles and nurtures
these people humble as measles and kind as brothers!

We two nod and agree to disagree. The fellow
he starts talking I suppose through the lunatic’s
mouth and startles a gathering of pests indistinct.
He gibbers: Lo, what I made I have unmade, what
I sowed plenty to I have reaped little medicine from.

The gall of Thanatos catches up to us, time-travelers.
We leave the lunatic content as a mouthpiece and depart
Bethlehem having left Salah graffiti on its belltowers.
We close our eyes the planet it turns epileptic odd
as waking up another gender in another time the distance

from Bethlehem barely registered the fellow inaudible.
We spend our days unplanned and buy them back with hindsight.
I amuse the devout with testing the mortal theory.
She hands out hot tea in the wintertime preaching the habit
of kind words to all who need the fellow off their back.

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~ by Jeremy on April 13, 2012.

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