the Gospel according to Thomas kris kahn

preface, or
after he spoke the word Suicide


perhaps this is not about you or
me. perhaps this is about the irises.


in the middle of your room
there might be a tree waving high
its fingers. sharp,
isolated / irreconcilable

if i cried loud
your name, in tongues
would you come
down to me

or would you stay.

what would i do if i called & some
one else answered, said you were gone.

the brown cat even,
in its circling round the room,
misses you.

on the wall above the tv
van gogh’s irises
assume their sun has abandoned them,
or else they assume it
is winter. either way
they close
their petals.

it is hard to want you
when you do not want your self.
if you were asleep
(if that were the case)
i would roll you over, force
you to face east

make you wait for the morning
to bloody your features,
to soak the bed in
the sun’s menses-light.

you’ll look swollen & filthy
& of course angry,
not wanting to be found.
you do not realize that
i have already found you
in this heap; that i have touched you,
not minding the red
ness. the

brown cat hates me for
running my fingers over your body.
we fight over territory

you are on the bed
straining against the light, red-
dening / seeping through the blinds.
i am
with you.
perhaps i am never
with you.

atop the sheets
you’ll writhe in fugue just
as you walk through day / night
devouring too many pills

you taste always
of desire. i am not sure i can calm you.
of linen & hash.
of the city, rolled up in
to itself, unsure
of its own co-ordinates.

you always appear to be running, frantic.

i am watching you now
in my mind
because how am i to know
whether you are
alive or
not? how will i know—

the light will rinse the room
clean of its stench;
the irises will lean more toward
the door in an attempt
to quit the scene;
you’ll taste of water rather
than Valium &
i will
flinch beneath
your fingers
no matter what
the blood says.

we have always been furtive
in bed. maybe it is
you & i trying to divide
our selves, evenly
with respect for the blood
& the irises,

with adoration for the morning
we have not yet seen
together, though which (when
it does come)

commences its restoration.

i am trying to make you see
(can you tell)
how important you are
to me.

          Come on, i'll say. Let us greet
ing your body up,
in to me. the colors we
walk through are
(i open your
petals, i speak that
word soft so you
in your rising
will not hear);     what is important
is that

          we do walk     through.


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November 2001 2River