LIES/ISLE  

  HAMUNAPTRA IS, IN FACT, NOT IN EGYPT  






Itís easy to beat me with a brace of somedays.

At the oasis, cardinals
                     are trilling out gospels
in praise of dead men
                     riding for white cities.

You are stubbornly refusing to call after them.

- - - - - - - - - -


People on fire in the movies
are always wrapped in flames like a spoon dipped in honey.
I doubt itís that comfortable while I bite my own wrist
to make sure Iím still here.

- - - - - - - - - -


Itís difficult
to clench teeth against bone
but not against teeth.
I wake up to find I have worried my face into nothing,
a blank cave with my tongue
pratfalling stupidly from the jaw.

Then I wake up for real.

- - - - - - - - - -


Looking at my hands
I know by the flayed skin

     that the world
     cannot contain
     this much light.

The crack in the curtain
is the icon of a larger flaw,
the big grin in the sky that
makes me sit upright

     with ragged flesh
     between my teeth.

- - - - - - - - - -


I am asking you to open your mouth
     and speak sand dunes
until your words have swallowed
      the earthís wet noise.
It is not up to you to marshal the oceans.
      It is up to you to sing.







  CHRIS EMSLIE