Ask Me About Tagamet
Describe for me the vaulted heavens
of your gut and of the angels
soaring there. We are of similar binding,
those black wraiths and I.
I traffic, too, in dark solemnities.
I wear my nametag like a dagger.
You may unscabbard, if you wish.
With this pill, I promise sleep
its full fare down your throat
and half of night. I promise pain
is just a suburb still not linked
with light rail to the bustling
now. I promise meat and cheese,
some olives skewered in gin.
Luxury, I know, is just a form
of medicine. The choir sings
off-key, but what then purifies
the air, pulling acid, pulling shame
from every pew? And sickness:
that’s just prayer. It doesn’t rid the body
of, but riddles it, with hymns
rank with ulcer. I’d be lying
if I said the world was godless.
I know more happiness than that.
I know digestion’s not a city
people live in. It survives
as metaphor, a Tartarus of made
and soon-to-be, eaten next
to Eden, which evening makes
of television, as you lounge
and pick the ribeye from your teeth.
Ask me of the origins of fire.
I will tell you of the pit.