I want to know who you will be taking home.
The warm night drinks skyfuls of smoke, our
hats collide, our eyes open and close— we
cradle our bodies, ones we used to serve
platters of teeth, our pastimes past, each better
than the last, bloodstreams coursing honey.
Your voice trembles me to honey,
remembering melted days at the home- stead.
Thought I couldn’t treat anyone better
than how I treated myself. Environed by smoke
in a body-ache daze. After each lurch I’d serve up another pallid launch. Nothing else came
I am unborn every time you are close enough
to salve me with glowering honey— after our
endless jive of smile and serve,
in your eyes mine call smiling home. We
drew a bath of bubbling smoke. We
couldn’t wash ourselves any better.
Nobody builds me up better
for nothing, or keeps me so easy long after close:
scrubbing, lingering, dousing steam and smoke with
vinegar, grease caked on our cheeks like honey,
mopping the floor for you to take me home.
Your company is the establishment I serve.
Our deaths so far evaded, what purpose will they serve?
Are we not our perfect form, is there no better
warmth than our bitter finish? Our home- bodies
shudder, stripped by another day’s close. Our
hands comb one another for honey.
Our tongues meet in catacombs of smoke.
If our fate fades into air like ascending smoke,
and we snap in two the sultans we serve,
every memory golden, as if seen through falls of honey,
each moment brought closer, every delicate touch better
than the last, I feel from all sides some close-
ness & echoed tenderness* cleaving too close to home. I
want to know who will serve you better.
We’ll smoke raspberry leaf, our eyes won’t ever close.
‘Till then I hallucinate honey, your voice in my ears, I’m home.
*from Amiri Baraka’s “Chamber Music”