MISERERE

MISERERE

i: Birthplace
You may not remember the storm
Said to have rushed into the birth-room
To cross itself at your feet as though
You bore a fake warrant to feint the world;

You may not even remember the dance
That raised you to the raging stars
To arrange your destiny, and even the dancing clown
Who named you god-child;

But you will remember your birthplace –

It will range in your mind even now
As the wispy wind flushes out
Your resolve to be someone again
And the magpie holds your mirror against you,

Turning you into a papier mâché doll—
A mannequin to hang cast-offs on, scarecrow
With a hollowed mouth for dead food,
An unwitting janitor of the roaring metropolis;

You will remember your birthplace –

It will spring to mind each time you hear
Children’s laughter and the street sweeper’s whistle;
It will stay with you like a monastery does with the
Mind of a prodigal, though it let you down;

While your days pass quietly on this street corner,
Your mind hankering after one solid conversation
With humanity – someone to take you back over the moment
When innocence promised everything.

ii: The Samaritan
The consequential other
That strays from the norm
May yet hear your primal scream
That bounces against the edge-bead;

A bearer of gold and a heavy heart,
Your consequential other may once
Have been prey to self-love
And the salient poisons that move cities;
This freed animal with the piety of dolphins
May even sustain your self-doubt
To raise you from the pavement
Like an envied Joseph;

The breath of this consequential other
May bear the whiff of ambrosia
(Taut and speedy sacred tincture)
And call you to arms against want;

And you will touch the haloed shins before you,
Shed your tears against them,
Caress them like you would the back
Of the dolphin that raises you to air.

Written on April 14, 2005, 3.16am) / Illustration: Homeless Man in Paris, by Ishmael Annobil

Source: https://chiaroscuromagazine.com/poetry-and-prose/miserere.html

©ISHMAEL ANNOBIL

IMAGE: JUBA BRIDGE @WIKIPEDIA