2/22/2009

Mardi Gras



This mambo line we've been dancing in all night -

I've forgotten where it started, your place or mine?

And who are all these whirling hipsters,

pelvis to pelvis like gandharvas in the lowest heaven?

Preening, prancing, behaving like democrats,

Pointing their tail feathers up at the sun?

Oh I admit, I’m one of them,

Bragging about my torrid love affair with God,

Drinking too much and shouting,

"We weren’t invited to this! We just showed up!"

O Jesus, you were a homeless poet once,

Eating leftovers from the lawn parties of the upright.

You know what it means to scavenge among the wasted seeds,

Looking for the sprouted ones, the ones with laughter in them.

We're like jostling crows on a live electric wire,

inebriated with the voltage: everyone looking for juice!

If one of us touches the ground, we're all dead.

But that won't happen: we're never coming down!

We only move in one direction now, upward

like black flames, so dizzy with midnight dancing

I can't tell which of us I am.

I've whirled from your hands and fallen

back into your kiss so many times,

I don't know if I'm Lover or Beloved...

I think I might be sober now

in the stillness before dawn.

I can almost remember your name.

If I do, I won’t tell the others.

I just want to know, last night,

Was I the wine or the cup?

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