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from Lovers in the Marquetalla Republic



            “You are my Xibalba,”
            I say
                        and I think
                                    of the Mayans
                        plotting the sky
                                    as they looked up at hell

                        As I look up at you
                        o angel
                        to articulate
                        the sound
                        of your neck
                        gently snapping
                                    under the nakedness
                        of these stars

            your form recumbent
                        as they drag you
                        through the tall black grass—            
            From where do
            the soldiers come
            through the anatomy of the night

            where carnage
                        runs rampant

                        whose blood
            spurts out in gobs
                        their semen
            spurts harder
            as they cum
            all over
            the night—









                        Our anatomies
                                    derive from the grist
                        the wildness
                                    also raised
                        by the
                                    specters of the dead

                        a unity
                        pried open
                        in space and in darkness.
                        Which is the deeper scar?

                        Bear us up
                                    who only seem
                                                to be bearing. 

                                    bound to each other
                        by their crimes
                                    charge flaming
                        into the orifice
                                    of the earth.

                        They suckle
                                    each other
                        like kids
                                    at their first funeral.








                        What it means
                                    for two lovers
                        to pursue the word of the angel—

                        that we are here
                        in order to say,

            “I love you”—

            spills out onto
                        the synaptic threshold
            that holds us in awe
                        of the sayable—

                        the soldiers satisfy
                        their own phantasies

            each side resting
                        in trenches
            in the recesses
                        of their scrotums








            What it means for two lovers
            to praise
                        the word of the angel

                        to sing
                        at the precipice
                        of its mouth—

            to ask of it,

                        “For whom is the
                        cannibal adorned?”

                        “For what battle?”
            we are meant to be
            Lovers in mutual manducation

                        and it is
                        the groin
                        and it is
                        the drooling

                        without sap
                        without song
                        without orifice

            peeking into the window
                        to find that
            the pane is intact
                        with shit studs

            with the bullets
                        of an Onanic orgasm
                                    in its eyes.








                        a lyre
                                    to soothe yourself

            Conjure a salve

                        your lips
                        are bleeding
                        the tender points
                                    at your temples
                                    are bleeding—

                        the cattle low
            on the hillside
                        break into
                        their young—

            the image—

                        the slope of the
                        your vision

            you reframe the death
                        of the young
            as a love
                        that will turn
            in the end—

            the pustules of the young
                        will congeal
            around your eye
            and drool
            out of its
            lowered lid—

                        they will praise
            the lyre
                        that also sleeps
            with the dead

                        praise the soldier
            who catches you
                        at the throat
            as all
                        turns ripe
            in your heart—

                        the swift herald
                        of their love

                        the swift music
                        that decays in the air

                        the swift
                        o angel

            will steam
            hot blood

            your face
                        in thick binding
            will sweat
                        a red milk

            your chest
                        in thick binding
            and red sweat
                        a sigh
                        at the sound
                        of your arythmia—

            your heart
                        onto the hillside
                        growing red
                        in the dawn
                        of all beginning—





Tim VanDyke

Tim VanDyke grew up in Colombia, South America, until guerilla warfare forced him back to the United States His most recent manuscript is Farallones (Garden Door Press, 2018). His work has most recently appeared in Typo, The Yalobusha Review, and elsewhere.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2015

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