Longing hurts me. This diaphanous scrawl
Of ink scripts shady characters whose faint
Appearance proves them all mime and no voice:
Each lightning stroke of words tests negative….
Language should struggle to bring into being
Impossibility—or honest Joy:
Your black dress fluid upon your pale limbs,
And us huddled close—like conspiring books….
For, right now, these past pleasures seem absurd—
As if your body’s wind-and-cloud dance with mine
Was the fantasy of a jovial liar….
All type must cast the bleakest, keyboard blues,
My lines lose their ink and turn formless snow,
Unless your arms surround me like the sun….
Two hundred songs, all words, impractical—
If not sung, that’s my love. I catalogue
A crescendo of kisses, so many
Thousands that multiply in each reading—
The silver lining of my black letters,
A billion gestures of gold marmalade—
As twinned bodies, setting the right tempo,
Rhyme rhythms. Thus, the couplet yields epics.
Our bones will moulder where these letters stand
(A bitchy dogma, but wine-sweet advice):
A valentine is air if it’s not ink.
On this I count, that we crack all cyphers—
So when we join, our bones crack in bent spines—
Like spondees slamming iambs in sprung lines.
Sip dark chocolates hollowed with hot liqueurs,
So our bellies fire as if impaled on light,
Then let’s sit in bed, tipping our sherry,
Tasting tints savory as French cuisine.
When we lie intertwined, let’s spy how each
Physique’s fine detail dovetails, heads and tails,
As you squirm deliciously, womanly,
And we melee like licorice-stirred milk.
Our nerves dazzle our bone marrow until,
Unglued, our breath is torn, and light shatters
Our cells, but it’s not booze drives us batty….
Sugary surgery—a suture like
The hot feel of liquor scalding the throat—
Bears the blame: But our repast’s no repair.
Leaving, I weep in rain to hide my tears.
It’s harmless theatre, almost comic,
This liquid Sorrow that liquidates dreams—
Cast miracles of verse. Drool stupid blues,
That’s what I do, fear my heart harvests pitch.
Already, I miss your mouth promising
A billion, endless kisses, as I pitch
And yaw through this Paris, all midnight pitch—
And rain. But it’s Paris—it’s beautiful:
Each café shows tables and chairs Van Gogh
Gets right. Dark clumps of vines hang down stone walls.
But I’m ambulatory Loneliness:
The wind chafes my face. There’s wine and whores…. But,
Without you, my eyes glaze, glaring from mist.
Now comes dawn: Blue burnt pink. Now I must trek
Back into the barbed world’s substance and shine,
Its apocalyptic brilliance, away from you,
And ramble cross bits of cloud—like some gull
Whose every kingdom is just tattered foam….
You’ve been as inevitable for me
As Death, bohemienne of haute couture—
Mellow with wine and euphoric in bed….
To burst my confines like Christ His coffin,
To nix arcane laws fixing to limit
Amour, to soar high and never get stuck
In gravity, these are my romance prayers!
Loneliness is not congenial: How soon
Can you again stuff my mouth with kisses?
The sun’s fiery passage is melting Time
As I entertain the foolish belief
A copper-haired girl, who is beautiful,
Might somehow love me—ex her continent.
Truly, my bones and flesh are comical,
Thinning, starving for her milk and honey:
I turn a wisp of flesh—like unsexed saints
Who perish, desolate, in catacombs.
The earth has spun its span: Across the sea,
The sun—self-contained blaze—falls all through night.
Here, through darkening blue, the moon blooms orange.
My bed’s hard with my cold-bone body.
My one way to reach her is through this poem—
A burst of light from the gathering dark….
We are Spirit-infused Matter; without
Spirit, we matter not; and without flesh,
We’re ghosts. That’s how I feel, Laila—ghostly!
Observe: My bed accepts me everynight
Like a coffin cupping a corpse. Without
Your arms, lips, eyes, breath, breasts, silk being, and wine,
I weep in black darkness the darkest blues.
Ouija boards, tarot cards, astrology:
Naught frees me from Time’s murderous orbit.
I lie in wait in bed each night; my sighs
Roll about like windfalls. Dreaming, adrift,
I trek from one dead-end to another,
Watch each star die, swallowed in night’s black maw.
Salim Gold is a Lebanese immigrant, settled in Montreal, but who ranges the world aiding his father’s Turkish/Oriental carpet, export-import trade.