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Aubade

O Kali, Thou art fond of cremation grounds, so I have turned my heart into one that thou, a resident of cremation grounds, may dance there unceasingly. 


O Mother! I have no other fond desire in my heart; fire of a funeral pyre is burning there;

O Mother! I have preserved the ashes of dead bodies all around that Thou may come.

O Mother! Keeping Shiva, conqueror of Death, under Thy feet, come, dancing to the tune of music; Prasada waits with his eyes closed.


-Ramprasad (1718-75)

 


This dance of fire, of burning ecstasy... 

Our flesh melts off our bones
And we are revealed to each other:
Names and faces screaming
In the sacred agony of annihilation. 

I would dance with you every night,
In every instant of every second
of every day,
If I thought I might last
Even a fraction of one of those instants.  

And so,
I am left to only lick the fire gently
To savor the sweet burning of your lips
And then withdraw,
My mouth ruined,
My lips burned away,
My tongue blistered,
But my mind filled with memory
Of what I once knew for that instant.
This memory full of more pleasure
Than most men will ever know
In their entire lives.

The time will come,
When I will slip out
Of this sad suit of the flesh
And we will be able to dance
For the duration of the Song:
Two burning skeletons
Spinning through the stars,
With a laughter that destroys worlds
And makes all creation new again.

Until then, I must savor
This one pearl of pleasure
That I licked out of you
And held desperately in my mouth
Until I could drip it into a small vial
That I keep in the center of my soul.
It burns bright now
Like a roaring funeral pyre,
Bones diamond hot and blinding,
The source of all that I am.

God, how I hunger for the sweet death
Found in your beautiful and terrible embrace.

The time of my life,
That which has been spent
Only to write down these poor words,
Has been too long.

I break the vial of you
And drink down
Your burning death.




October 2003