i. mirror’s image Blue lake, white sky. Pearl colored after a rain: My face reflects the places I’ve seen, beyond my memory: And in negative, the after-image. I have a dark face, With yellow eyes; Then I see the steaming river. Cutting a crooked path Through the jungle, Shot with silver from the moon. ii. capricorn Fine, sharp and broad, your shoulder blades Flex like two swords, ready, Aware of the danger you sense now: As once you surveyed with narrowed eyes The land that you were to conquer: Bronze helmet, the gloss of a shield, Burnished gold, lit the crags of your face In firelight, flushed with the savor Of battle, scorning death, the salt taste Of meat in your mouth, strong ale Burning your throat, igniting wild thoughts Of waking, long ages later: passion’s blood Coursing through a mind of conscience and reason; Your hand clenches upon itself, empty of a weapon That was once your parley and your pride; And on the battlefield, your mortal arm descended For a final blow, you screamed in death’s agony: A sacrifice to the movement of the ages, To the slow progress of your warring soul. iii. vestige You are a strange marine creature From the silent darkness At the bottom of the ocean, With tiny beams of blue light For eyes, to probe the night; Webbing forms between your smooth, splayed fingers, Fins sprout from your spine, And farther away you can swim, Pulsing the great muscles of your tail Against water, the fluid of your world, Water, pressing down from above, And to the limit of your vision, water In every direction, nurturing you, Imprisoning you, conducting you One day into a woman’s womb: Inside, red light, warmth you sense, No more the chill of the wild sea depths; An ancient form, you contemplate your birth Into the realm of the sun and the wind. iv. sin Hair like the sun, bony frame Reaches to me, naked, ashamed, Falls down on me in darkness: Appearing in a dream, Appealing to me, Snake coiling round his biceps; The apple falls far back Into our memory; My mouth finds the juice, Drinks from his own warm liquid, And once more we lie Languid, spent, lost In our separateness. Above us, a Creator laughs, Gives the wheel another spin, And we awake, dizzy, To stagger drunkenly, Half-forgetful of the dream.