Poem: Cidade de Deus (City Of God)


The sun hung like a medallion around God’s neck
pinning itself to the cornice of His omnipresence,
and beneath the shadow of His blink,
squander reigned—
Reverence and slander hula-hooped around
orbits of matched indifference.
and like pigeons lurching from a belfry,
praise sprung from murals and portholes
and went up circling—paper-planes—
reverent chutes opened, shuddering—
delivering praise; lunar and fragmented.
orbed oaths muddled with
pleas, and pious pining.

Tenacity knew no hearse, their mouths defiled
their pleas— gestures infected the stars;
darting, jutted ominous hands,
vined tongues— hoarse soldiers
of faithless clusterings;
spouting insane babble amidst calculated musterings.

I stood at the shore— and watched
the city’s piquant lights jangle,
dousing all revelry in delirium—finitude—
it stood; neglected, at the sea of drying tears,
ailing amongst shivering solitudes
as downcast as a haemorrhoidal cripple,
faith, become a pelvic prolapse—
an abortive circumstance—
bleak as Charon with no oar,
muddling through dark velvets of reprise,
a splash here, a splash there—

And demons slumbered on their pinions fair
hymns became formaldehyde;
syllabled preserver of ancient interceding—
The good and the bad—the free-willed
dwelt naked in the city of oblivion—
salvation and damnation intertwined—
Siamese twins sharing an amniotic caul,
writhing in serpent-strangle of drowning motifs,
placental homicides, where closeness is strangeness.

they humbled themselves in their murky
state of abandoned totem— slave moralities–
they teemed the sewers, feet dragged by knotted
arthritic curtsies, rutted pews, and translucent cathedrals;
as preverbal as a bird with three wings—
their soaring soon daunted itself.


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