Omens

I make these in earnest warning when
Each omen, like a stone-tongue
Breath’s rag, puffed and blown into
Your breastknot, your nettled innocence,
Quite frank like a closed pearl,
Molested sea, glint like sirens, staved
Into whale caverns, the ivory town,
Huge as Jonah’s five assassin fingers,
Who made a weapon from an ass’s
Skeleton, walked the sea-sand in the
Toppled sundown, eyelids fastened
On a killing, murder’s sake, dark into
The jaw-bone like an approaching wave,
Wounded the whale skin- the hero’s
Head lies scraped of every legend.

From his mother’s womb, he has a religious
Tongue that laps up the mud, love’s
Anatomist with the righteous beads,
Saves the hopeless with their inch-taped
Lips from the Roman rank and hood; his
Cross to bear- buried in sacrificial linen,
Sewn with black venom’s thread; resurrected,
For all the dead ascend, summoned up by the
Breath-white, curtained mouth of forgiveness.

These blind eyed lepers breathe a wind of
Vision, their cauldrons rooted, fume like a
Dead Sea; toss in the burning crows feet,
The crumpled packs of toads, the rindless
Hares, beat the cobwebbed drums; pour it
On the terrible world of their brethren’s skin-
One rood dropped down like stacked cards,
A dismal pyramid, ruins filled with rooms of
Errors, the rock shroud in a sharp wind.

The burning bush with its loud fire, written
Tablet scriptures, and the Jesus ghost,
Mild as a pardon, delivered to the Moses
Man on a hailing hill covered with cold
Flintsteps; his words lost to the limp,
Uneating silence and the locked tents;
These are his contraries cast in stone.
The golden beast follows in its molten
Flight up cinder-nesting columns of
Nonbelievers, the starved herd; they walk
The warring sands sprawled to ruin,
Bray with the jawbone of an ass; seek to
Hang with beheaded veins for murder’s
Sake- the noose in a sun-gloved hand.
They have picked the live heart of a savior.

Omens