- after "The Boat 2," Odilon Redon

Rope in the sign of the number
3, I do not kneel before you.
With my arms I'll try to keep
the chalky tent of heaven
from falling in upon itself. I'll
make sure there is no crossbar
from which you could dangle, skin
shed of a dark lover spurned
by a woman whose eye was fixed
on the gleaming fruit, the taste
of all she could know. Naturally
she wanted it more than you.
And the hull of this boat is cathedral
or cave or my own womb; and I
the shape crouched in a sea of heaving
waters felted with salt, presiding
again at my birth. So many more things
to name like children: new stars,
overlooked islands, small tender bodies
encased in nacreous film; bronzed
beasts sitting in their own cultivated
gardens. When they say the universe
is divine: it means look in all directions
and feel the arrival of the vertiginous
future. Everything with its own distinct
outline, each stillness its own delirium.

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