From tree to tender tree wither thorns
I smell the dirt of doves

Fair twins with fat bellies
and painted silver breasts

The twins drink and embrace each other
smearing paint in the process

Rinsing myself I say “love me or none at all
go and pluck the grapes”

There are many ways to come
the path is utterly paved and perfumed

with figs and flames and lattices and rain
as hard as my hand came down upon her breast

My love is a flood
broken forth terrible



I cannot conceive her image
much less record it

The eyes of leopards
A spike of spiced wood

All the beautiful voices flock
to the gate through my head

All I have looked at all I have eaten
all the flavours and companions

all the legs the breasts the cheeks
I have rubbed my nose over

all under the same tree
growing by the water

The campfire flourished
We burnt all the ivory



Dogs gathered gold rings from the garden
We rubbed ointments on their furs

Me and my twin companions
the two women with silver breasts

we drank from goblets with pewter lions
pomegranate wine stained the white walls

A bed in a field
A tongue nailed on a door

Savour my soul
Stick on my wall

As I smoke inside the den
I can smell her open wounds

Jerusalem is leaning over
dwelling in a cedar cellar in an oilstained spot



Give my best to your city
and its bowels

clusters of upright houses
highbeams in barren spring

All mothers are awake
and banqueting

She threads bread into butter
the hair on her head is shorn

She despises her thighs
she palms them expertly

The men surround the table with their sheep
Tent studs and lubricants were placed at every chair

Do me one better and rub her hair
all over my sword

I open her veil I let out my juice
There are eyes on all roofs

White daughters taste
like the wood in vineyards

I can’t separate the gate from the keeper
nor the bundle from the bed

Footsteps away from death
I washed her head

saying “what little will come from moon, door, or flowers,
or anything below the neck unless it’s opened”



The horses drank wine out of a trough
after they ate all the art inside the gallery

We string banners across open valleys
where I have kissed a thousand cheeks

The birds are poured tenderly
out of the pitcher into the flame

The ones that escape fly into the sun
I wake up at noon covered in vines

on the pillow the head of my sister
divorced from her body, singing

The feet of my mother resting in fishpools
washing her shoes in whisky

Sleek black foxes run across my navel
awakening my heart to Jerusalem



A cinnamon chain
A chamber of teeth

An undefiled seal
Secret streets traced along my lips

Sweet girls in tents
their mothers think they are mountains

Only a merchant could love her
but that temple shut up years ago

His tongue mounts her teeth
He drinks her substance

He finds her mother’s lost mandrakes
The smell of strong coals comes up from her rose

He overcomes the smell
The pillar is erected

Her soul leaps like a moth
Evaporated milk in her crotch

She compares him to past lovers, favourably
They rejoice