Long ago, deep among the humped salt dunes
of a nameless desert, a half-starved man
heard a wind-borne, susurrating voice "God"
keening low and sweet, disturbing fragments
of silica, the exoskeletons
of long-dead scorpions. The voice asked him,
'Son of man, son of man; can these bones live?
The valley was filled with sharp connections.
Long ago, on the floor of a men's room,
warm, feminine urine burned into the
sockets of my eyes. The hard, wooden shaft
of a broom pressed into my throat. I passed
into the grey space where dead voices speak
and the air is filled with the sound of sucked
marrow. I lay on cool tiles, hollowed; pithed.
The voice of God tears away tender flesh
until only the essentials remain.
For the instrument to sing, all excess,
all comfort, must be stripped, holes must be drilled,
hope lost - this is also resurrection.
The dead become pipes for God to sing through.
It is a painful, splendid kind of song.