A Man Carries His Cross
A man carries a cross that he’s nailed to.
His tongue’s crusted with mother-of-pearl and mucus.
How many knives swords missiles does it need
for the spreading out of his pitiable fingernails? And lies?
How far does he have to be driven?
If he dies at sea, the sea will be his grave.
If on land, roots will creep down to feel him.
Unknowingly he’s carrying a tree inside him and is looking for
somewhere to plant it.
He doesn’t know the reason for his journey.
The tree grows and reaches out, it’s grown a thorn.
In the daytime the man regards the sea’s glass stairs,
their flotsam and jetsam, and forgets his pain.
At night he wakes with a shout, for the tree’s convoluted him
with its branches like a giant serpent.
He’s heard tales about such serpents
and people that carry their heads beneath their arms.
And he knows that where the world ends
there’s an immense Breast and Paradise.
At night the stars drift their oxeyes through the sky
and he feels the weight of his testicles,
they draw him down earthwards
and he doesn’t understand it,
for his portion is deeds,
they say who he is:
an almost wordless man who’s been given a name.