Six Blind Men and an Elephant


Skin of a dragon, stretched across stones.
I walk it on my hands: tender soles. Something
has been written here only the blind
can read. A brief history of pain,
names of the tallest trees.
I press my palms to the wall.
Every welt has meaning.


The long hard core of the soul
out of the belly of the world.

Broken bracelets, two curved arms.

for the moon.
                                      Sorrow's spear.

Lonely bone.


If there was a way to wear air, it would be
this thin and this thick, it would move our every
move before we thought it, king-robe, impala
weave, ostrich hair. It would be skin
reversed: that soft, that responsive.

There is a great lake where animals drink.
This is the moss on the stones they lick.


No tree so heavy, so worn and warm.
No shade, no leaves, no branching arms.
Mysterious torso, stripped
to the waist, no navel.
Old bedding.
Gold pole.


Where is the bell to this cord?
I pull but no chime,
the wind falling down
a deep cave, angry and treble
and sere.


I do not touch, I am touched.
Out of the dark a soft,
gentle and intelligent.

This hand is also a mouth, a face,
two holes for eyes,

I am not blind enough to see
what it sees.

This is the longing of the hungry
whole, how it reaches,
how it feeds.

From Mauled Illusionist and also appeared in Manhattan Review

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