How incomplete the deliverance
when I’d learned to clear the waters
while guarding myself against
the pitchfork that awaited me at home.
I was thrilled atop the mountain
but I betrayed myself,
disheartened by the weather,
its spell of cold water
and I returned to the shelter of the boat.
Torture was its custom.
At birth I’d disciplined myself
never to eye the boatsmen’s bodies,
the various lusts steaming from them,
though all the while they sang their dirge
surpassing my method of eclipse.
What effulgence I possessed, they’d sung,
and intuition and my mother’s breast,
and as they stood above me
forcing the dove meat to my mouth
they told me I could be drowned
for my fears alone
as all false reckoners are drowned.
I had only to wait
for the dominant green of the world,
to enter its republic,
yet my wings lunged rapidly
in an appeal to gain their favor.
They faced me toward the sun.
I knew I could be mastered,
that they had spent few diamonds for me,
but I was of good natural health.
Into my cage they held their tinctures
and I dipped my beak in them.
* * *