A Third Scroll of Malachite
—circa 800 AD
The magus as a small boy in Egypt
in his faded linens
thought that the torchlight reflected in the harbor
was a simple exchange of sleeping gulls
over their sea of salt— a dark disk in the sky
believed the other brother
resented the elders in the cliffs’ cavities
because their birds and scales full of dry bread
were both blackened. The serpent
offering quinces like stadia tickets to the women,
just a joke about the boats in the sky
resembling the green scudding clouds of the sea.
The winter chorus of martyred infants
sings with hesitation.
So, the cry of the gull is torchlight
climbing over the wharves at midnight. This is a slight
of mind and some hillside soliloquy saying
there will be sweet figs threaded
there where inside the seed
yet another seed is nesting like some Roman poison
in the wine of a country wedding.
Here, tacking the sincere jewels
of the pomegranate substitutes for golden
songbirds in trees. The mother dreaming
of a new Jerusalem with tilting sticks on a hill.
They purposefully wield him through the colored garden
where the sleeves collect
like cold waters in a stone fountain.
More gulls snoring up inside
the young master’s dress that is folded jade
like an ocean with buttons of bone and alabaster
up in the branches of olive
the wind whispers… do not touch me
for I have not yet descended, I am
the old sun that will kiss you on both cheeks
repeatedly, with an extra scent of solemnity, the full
daymoon now dressed but shoeless…
like a kind whore
she calls us to her breasts
which are labeled opalescent rubbish. Now, please,
be well for less with more.