Rise Sickly

that familiar tug and flourishing of sight

through a dead man’s eyes, yes, I see

revitalized, revived is life, like an alchemy of what rift or

cliffside mind I must preen totally

free of this, foul, dirt of the nails, oily hair—

the desecrated body is yet with us

to act, perform, although a sky may darken, although

a tide might sweep away a lifetime’s worth

of trials back into the sea, reclaimed

again by she. I must rise sickly if to be pure.

I must abandon the ropes and climb with

trembling arms and stiffened fingers

into nooks. I must do all this if to be good.

No more seek refuge, if it is always that I do.

Invest me with a liberty of the spirit

from this vessel that begs and bides.

Invest in me a soul that will not die, for wild days

await this wretched, crippled hide like wine.