Sun Tzu.

Nanking and Yamamoto.

The spines of the books gleam, bones,
fossils of geometry in artificial light

I feel you close to me.

And I look at the way light turns to shadow
inside your mouth and I want you.

Have you read Sun Tzu? You know,
all arts now are the art of war.
The world is at war. We are all of us,
all the time, at war.
We have all been called up.

You make me peaceful.

When I sleep with you, I’m calm,
like the surface of spilled milk,

a few tendrils still seeping out to slake
no one’s thirst.

Sounds of bamboo dippers, stone basins,

fishermen with furled sails and then —
right at the centre — near noon —
there is a second dawn, a second sun
rises, but this time in the west.

And eyes are not made to look into that light.

So we shield our eyes, and turn away, figures
in a tableau, something out of the Renaissance,
Madonna’s blues of Raphael and the pinks of membranes
turned to chalk, a saint
lifted to heaven:

you kiss me, there’s no armoury inside me,

for a moment,

my heartbeats aren’t weapons.

Wow, man, did you see that? Incredible! Incredible!
Oh, God! Oh, shit, man! Jesus! Oh, God! Oh, my God!…

Authors and ashes.

And God laid aside like a suit, like an Armani.

I want to be naked with you,

I want to be defenceless.

It’s too late for that. Everyone wears armour now.

Abruptly the shadows are sudden:
it’s autumn. I still thought it was summer…

And suddenly: I’m afraid.

I want to ring you.

I want to hear your voice.

A voice

wears nothing.

A voice.

Your voice…

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