for seattle boy sacred mantle
(the love artist 1996)
sometimes I remember it as if
my body was naked and so was god's.
there are hundreds of designated reincarnations
of spiritual deities around the world.
for seattle boy, scared mantle,
the next great teacher of tibetan buddhists in exile,
born, by grace or by luck, two blocks from a pizza hut,
for the rest of us, the holy & insecure, the need
for an extreme & coded love that will speak to us --
these moments are rarely blissful, more often like a train wreck.
freedom was outside the window
the day I heard the angels come.
it was the end of the world,
and god had risen to the top of the telephone pole.
he held some papers above his head, everyone was breathless
and he said, "where is my littlest apostle?"
my eyes burned as I rose to meet him, hovering first
at his feet and then I looked out at everyone
that thought they knew me.
the body knows the precise spot
on the beach 100 miles away
where someone it loves is waving.
it can feel the hollow shadow
beneath their eye. it knows the clouded leaf
behind the curve of the belly,
the forgotten trees. it knows something
the size & weight of a small lemon, but smooth,
nutlike, close to the spine --
I am dreaming of a liquid world,
where the guiltless roam translucent,
like say we were in love & i was killed in your arms and then reborn
and many years later we found each other and the alien lover,
born within, would already know your body but I would not on first meeting --
I have a black eye & a white tattoo,
I know you will remember this,
thumbs pressed up inside
the braille of my skull,
a rose tattoo, like the inside of my eye,
a purple fragrant tattoo,
like the fugitive imprint of your hand,
the goodness of that quivering, bruised host --