Saturday, September 15, 2012

Twilight in Birdville

Twilight in Birdville, high
up over the low-rent, low-rider
streets there hovers the humming
Mother Ship, its One Eye blinks,
threatening Apocalypse while also
watching the tourists lined up below
along the cyclone fence to watch
the holy nudists file slowly into
the white frame church, where

Inside, down rambling passageways past
empty, musty Sunday School classrooms,
past the leaking baptismal, past the velvet
painting of Jesus in Gethsemane weeping
blood and tears, Father Silenus comes at last
to the dormitory where the women sleep,
and performs his ritual, visiting each Sister
in turn … till one grasps the serpent and
gasping with horror, weeping, speaks
of her baby lost in the deeps …

I comfort her, or try … then wrap the baby in tinfoil
and a white sheet and together we carry it down the street
to Infinity’s Mirror standing tall like a drive-in theater screen
(but one which few dare stop and stare into without a blink)
and see there a snapshot of two frightened Sisters …
“I want to go there,” she says, but her

Twin blocks the way … a brief struggle = And now
we are Four, carrying the foil-and-sheet-wrapped baby
in sorrowful procession to the Rio Ganges … where we
board a waiting riverboat whistling in the dark, and after
a voyage long and arduous, and down down down into
the abiding deeps, the boat begins to fill with water, and
the captain abandons ship, and we wade ashore, and then

Walk up the cracked and weedgrown steps into
an Indian restaurant decorated with Bollywood posters,
and out the other side and onto the dirty streets at
dawn, and weep, and weep, and weep.