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from Farallones





In January I could not sleep, I was dead
In January I lived on a star

That month I could not decide how to walk in its light

My inception was focused to a pinpoint in my eyes
and breath was a shock of enmity, a spleen of bullets

I could not decide how to walk with my body’s grottoes

I had come to lay it down as if it were an imaginary animal
inked with tattoos that said “I love you”—

In January when I said “I love you”
it was as though the words were turned aside, against me

I said “I love you” on Bogota’s plain
my heart in its chest palpitating as if a supplicant

In January a doorway opened on a new moon, a darkness

this star covered in white daffodils
this star that fractured my femur when I fell

to get up again I had to stalk the rock crags

to get up again I had to keep a visage that burned like candy
plucked from an orphan’s hand

In January I had to go back to the place where I fell down

I love you, I said, & I love the whistle of the wind
through the holes in my head

I love you through the rended tissue of my shattered spine

I love you & I feel like I could walk outta here
if only you would fuck off and let me be a while

In January I returned in a cloud of flesh that clung to the sleepless
as they marked the night

In January I marked the flesh that clung to God
who fell down and couldn’t get up




day of the sky corpse


that day the sutures ripped

the sky became a wall of gauze

day of midnight sun

day of dark radiation

empire is built on love’s decay—

day that gazes on a wound’s terminus
and chides the gunman

points left at the gash

the blood covering my eyes from the sun

it becomes suspended in the air—

sun hung facing a mirror

reflection searing memories onto the brain—

day they came to take me

the sky hardened until it fractured

I walked out to see a man kneeling on the ground

wearing a leash around his neck

the gunman poised above him—

Don’t cover my eyes again
don’t make me hang like the sun

so thirsty and frozen at the end

day my heart hung low
twitching with electric fervor

sky’s corpse lurching down the mountain




a long line of gunmen


they wear their camoflauge pegged down
like steel birds on a weathervane

they wear their bodies coiled up like a fetus—

I walk with them hidden in my hood

hidden there my star burns brighter

it wears the dust of my body like a cloak—

the gunmen shoot me through the throat

the bullets pass through me

a fleshy nebula
wearing the constellations of the zodiac
come up to the threshold of Xibalba

wherein the majesty of the sound of their revolution
as they scatter ever further from each other
is muted as I am mute

and jesus in his robe is mute

white daffodil

cloud of seed scattered by the wind

I vomit him out through the holes in my throat

the long line of gunmen in ritual procession
falls out with him to coil at my feet

to cool and harden into a dragon’s tail—

that it dash itself against the rock crags
and settle into a desert

that is my wish

that it redeem Egypt in the jungle

that it burst through the sodden foliage
and render visible the temple

the last king holding high his flaming sword

running barefoot at the Spanish

stopped in his tracks by a single arebusque

they will not find that Egypt

they will not find it

they will not find it in the patterns of ink
laced across my back

Egypt of the blood binding my body

Egypt of a form shrouded in the Angel’s garment

Egypt that might redeem itself one day—

who will redeem the long line of gunemen
poised above me in bas relief

who will redeem me
and the landscape surrounding my body

who will raise a blade to their chests

who will hold it so tight his enemies have to cut off his hand




black coffin

the silence of those grasses along the plain

Los Llanos         extending to God
like a sulking woman extends her lip

a woman who flees
who disappears to weep in the city—

I am disappeared, too
I also weep

my tears chase sorrow to star’s center

those silences of belief

glory come back again to the face of God

face hung on the battlements when faith is lost

visage burning the garments from supplicant bodies
until the city is naked

she dances there through the heat of 100 summers

dances to a frequency emitting from a black coffin

the supplicants are torn to shreds
for refusing her hunger

hunger of the field and the cattle grazing

hunger of God’s heart in my heart

hunger of the auras of the damned
stealing light from my shoulder

hunger of the Colombian government
and the men who prop it up

hunger of those beasts seated as dignitaries
at the peace tables

hunger setting fire to the city

setting fire to her body in the garden—

she becomes infinite beneath me

the city smashes itself into her belly

the apoplexy will come on like a faucet

stigmata etched into the foreheads of the damned
as they gather beside the coffin

blood inside and out

my body’s shadow in the vanishing light

as they walk in
the held daffodil peals in thunder




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

SEPT 2017

All Issues