I wanted to sing you
The heart, the silence of a leaf
Building life
From light—
I tried to sing
But my mouth grew
Merely open
And black—

You know the rest.
How I came to this
House yelling about worms
And Homer
Stinking in the earth.
How my flesh
Rots, the skin peeling
Layer after layer,
Always white, always
Bloodless.

There's no pain. Only
An itch.
A desire to claw myself. Dreams
Of flying and stabbings.
Moon and sun
Are light and nothing.
I itch. I want
To burn. 


(Published in The Louisville Review #3, Fall 1977)


Comments?