Pilgrimage

perfumed persian snake charmers
stowed away in the sweat
of being discovered
in hookah incensed fantasies
of Solomon’s writhing concubines

kings of us all
they’ll say ’til they die
the end isn’t a hole
but a tunnel down
a ribboned hallway
palace in time

kick off your feet
jump chariots for the songbirds
lanterns to the feasting hall
to drink of vaults
bitter sting of the cherried
aging of treasures

lay in the palm press
veil of ashen
wind carried blossoms
chasing a snow fallen
vesper of feathers

kiss of the hot rush
tumult of senses
drowned in a dream-sick
seduction of silver skin
tongued at without
sipping inside

taken away from the rusting
cages to the gold-hewn
dreams of forgetting
the tourniquet fear flown
as rakes to bleed
down the divide

plant a root in this heart
verdant shelter from storm takers
plunging return
on boats to bear coin purses
sunken in rivers
swallowed down the abyss

a whirl of soup stirred
a mighty cauldron
circle of hungry mouths of night
black and empty
their stars are crying
at the long-necked spoons
too far areach from their draught

so, they send their wishes
up smoke rings
to the green dreams of youth
saddled leaping on tree frogs
nymphs songs on the air
toeing clouds beneath webbed feet
gliding as helicopter seedlings
to the onrushing ground

birth berries of madness
gilt stem-horns of flowers
thorns slicing the vessels
blood sacks of unborn

fall tethered to thin air
chimes ringing on weak ears
in the icy blue caverns
a chilling remote,
stabs at the conscious
begging to breathe in
breaking the skin sewn
lips over the throat

eyes fixed on the ceiling
above neck, body a-dangle
over the vacuum
that threatens to bite

teeth, weapons as secrets
that know every corner
every shadow of jealousy
every daggering lie
only now they dance to spend you
not the other way ’round
aimed at their intended targets
as sharpened fingers of truth

there’s no living here
in deaths merry head
among the god-addled hermits
hushed away in sea coral
caves without light

prayed to the gold sky
offered up the hounds of sorrow
if but to exchange the space
for a fever gone blind

the fight to defend a virtue
to the slobber-jawed sanitariums
in the milky stare whitewash
waiting to martyr for faith

in the prison wards of questions
hands crowned, and head lowered
touching the throne
pray one sign to give
meaning for torment, reason for
oblivion
in this cold cell of stone

then the hull creaks in the
shallows
as if the timbers ache a spell
wresting wearied navigation
from the onlooking moon

as whistles blow and shouts drum
a halt commanding abruptly
march aboard unboarding
in the silence below decks
the ancients
are born.

© Emerys Watchel, (2015) 2016 All rights reserved.

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