Here are the many-colored portals of history,

where rain slides down city windows

like weak wine,

and we each receive tongues of flame

and names, like

Ubermensch, and

Rose of Sharon,

to cover our childish names:

Drink of Dust, and

Watch the Sky.

So we travel this way,

or that way, and someone says,

“Do you like this apartment?

You can live here, and work, and cook, and love,

and say whatever you want,

unlike Joan of Arc.

In fact, her ashes were mixed

into the brickwork of this fireplace;

now you can both send a burnt offering

to heaven every night.”

But this is what I’m saying:

if we drifted backwards awhile, perhaps,

we’d remember

those other names.


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