One breath. The ocean shifts one breath, you see?
The snakes must be all bone,
the way they swim.
These freaky snakes—why are they free?
Then fleas infest the Mother Baker House.
Mother Baker’s, it should be sanctuary, right?
But no, Father Lloyd shifts the compound walls.
We see his rage. His ‘wife’
right now is standing in the street.
She seems so naked.
He sees her so.
And so the former Father Lloyd, dust now
in hell, waits. Eruptions, the skin, the earth,
the monitor, alone, ruined,
his funny lips, a harlequin’s hat, head, lapsed,
eclipsed, turned upside down, a threat.
Father Lloyd all lost in dust. The dust,
the welts, the parchment snakes, a picture—
One by Picasso, say. The faces speak of you.
‘Tell me, about these travelers, tell who they are,
this precious May,’ as if the sky could wound
the earth. As if you knew. As if the snakes
could be so thin. As if they monitor
the earth. As if you know I should. I should…
Farrago—sure—a spike of indirection, yes,
a hateful one too, I’d say, too full and overflowing
for all its absence—too true—and, June, we still
cannot go back—at least not to the part
of you left there. Welcome to the Spanish
Cloister. My name is ‘Harold’, not ‘Lloyd’. Gr-r-r.
Yeah, ‘Harold Lloyd’—a comedy for sure.
No one was fooled. And ‘May’ for ‘June’. We could
have signed ‘Heloise’ and ‘Abelard’
and been just as subtle. White dust, ashes,
okay. Skeletal snakes emerge from depths
no ocean ever had. Your core. I get the picture.
A jumble, parataxis, like we were.
I am still your interpreter. I am still
your violator. For forty-five years.
And each of us a little prisoner.
A vow of sudden silence, phony silence,
walls everywhere. It’s what a cloister is,
my dear. At least my ‘sin’ is over now.
The ironic ‘wife’, that does seem monstrous,
the implied stalking, Mother Baker House—
Mother Baker! As if all we did there
is needed why not use the Virgin Mary,
why not Beatrice? Because of God, I know.
That makes me God. Or God again. It’s funny how
our ‘fathers’ (men who art in heaven, right?)
all failed that logic quiz. Still, we did what we did;
there was no second virgin birth, to be sure.
So God is dead and so are we. Forty-five years!
Time stops. This precious May. I wait for June.