reading a life by Art Durkee
by a single lamp
the man standing naked
his skin wrapped in words
swirling in seven languages
rapt in the book he reads
writing himself into lists, one thousand
years old, somehow still new:
"everything indigo is exquisite"
does the flower, the paper, the ink
know he worships them: their vibrancy?
it matters only to the ribs
inflating releasing the words
"lovers" and "hijau" and "spice"
and "sleep" written in the thighs
the word "golden" in Greek letters
spread across his breast
his arms spiraled with poems
to hymns to mirrors to trains, dark
terrors he had as a boy
now read in books he treasures
a library of intentions, inscriptions,