Second Elegy for Eleazar of Bethany
Mauve sky. Then lavender, amethyst, damson, coal-tar. Beginning a dream: blood in the eyelids.
Sound of a cellist’s final down-bow, legato. Dead lungs expel dust, breathe joy and fear and song
as moon takes shape in heaven’s sable deep. Foam plume: a budding flower floats away from
Night flower: Spathiphyllum. Petal-thin Selene sights him of the Four Days in al-Eizariya. Sweat
marred muslin clings to his beard and tresses, perfumed linen over crude skin, red wen on his
cheek. Tides of spirit disintegrating with box and bone. Selene follows without footprint, sending
silver breath to guide his path. Integer-mates (she too born reflecting the light of others). She
whispers: I would hollow out a space in my side for you, my love.
Veiled Selene, stele grey clouds, nacre tears fall on dust, rue, clover, stone. Repetition of stone.
Sound of rain and leather striking. He Whom G-d Must Surely Help gropes raw granite toward
an antre to bury himself in other objects; to wake: “What will you say to those souls you failed to
remember?” “What can the dead utter against those who have forgotten them? Without eye,
without ear, without tongue, what new faculties are forgotten and relearned and forgotten
again?” Selene shines through wooden frame, a waning crescent, a coin that lands neither heads
Against an oak in soft, balmy noon. Selene at his side, caressing his now-smooth cheek, entreats
the Father of Muses: Let him rest. Not for beauty. Not as in Latmus. The Eagle nods. Its refined
plumage quivers; cleaves the sun and shocks. The Eagle proclaims: truth begets body, body
begets stone, stone begets ocean, ocean begets sky, sky begets light. The Eagle takes the form of
a Bull and trots into the wood.
Aubade. Dandelion spores float on the wind. Twice awoken. Hand touches light and falls to side
as body continues away. Sunset and dawn: fetters on him whom death forgot. Living by a
separate light. Orchestral mauve. Air adjusts from a uniform pitch. Body stumbles from the