The Hangman Recalls a Dream to His Son, Abbot.
A room of Geissler tubes: there’s a mulatto girl bent over the green
felt of the uptown bunco parlor, manned
by me and a northwand’ring Mex’can
woman; out the mullatta’s body, tubes. The Mex’can
works a lever system, so my seed
runs through the elbow joints out the mule’s knees to
a basin—a furnace below heats white.
None of this bothers me: the syphilis
rot around her thighs; the worms once
in her mind, I see squirm through the glass vein
works that glow, phosphorize the room. She
being purged, vindicated by God
and His love; by my hand, the Hang Man’s,
courses water and lye. Cleanse.
Then, odd thing, Abbot, I ask Him why?
And what did He say, oldman?
He said nothing, but in the dream —
the works collapse. Glass breaks, shreds our faces,
our hands, my member wriggles on the floor. I, eunuch,
And what did He say, oldman—?
I told you boy, he says nothing.
But we are all—
we are enveloped all
in white, white heat.