“May this cup be taken from me.”

I can rest here, deserted
by the only men who love me—

the freight of grief I carry for them
left to uncurl in the sun, like a dying

stem in my palm. I kneel
among the tendrils: to study the stand

I will take to prove my guilt.
For a moment, I deny I was begotten,  

not made—the life-line on my kissed hand,
proof I was once wrinkled and imperfect.

I’ve always known my true life would begin
and end in a garden like this, my will not free,

my breath not Word, everything: bloom—
but the bloom the wound of a pupil  

overtaking the eye.
The darkness a comfort.

Because my errant whisper—
even muted by a wall of leaves—  

becomes prophecy,  
I’ve never said what I feel:

that I would die to live  
as a carpenter’s son, to see

my rough hands make a thing
as real and inhuman as I am;

that I dream of being
a wooden box filled with flowers,

set next to an untended grave.  
How I would cherish my part

in the bread of such an act,
in the artful life of the dead.
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