[from Kazim Ali's The Far Mosque, Alice James, 2005]
We came to the next part together and eager,
trying on the accretion of coats,
your rough cheek against mine.
Cauldron eyes, you're striking, ferrous, uncurdling me.
All points of passage between two bodies
are points of danger.
What will be left as "what-I-believe-in"
hits the surface of the water from a great height?
Now no passengers, no sails, no anchor, only the me-craft,
swimming like crazy through fire-sleeved water with you.
Breathing it, being burned by it.
Thinking sometimes to walk on it.
Also being encircled.
Also being dispersed.
The light bowl
of your voice
Sounds across the surface of my sleep
bit by bit coming to it
White wings brushing
against the eardrum
You were named in me thirteen years ago
by my mother rust-clad at the promise river
The dozen different versions of me
being carried on drafts away
Sleep little sweat-lodge, spirit house,
imaginary boy, petaled to my side, breathing
Saying his father's name
across the bowl of my sleep
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