My eyes were empty graves I dug with my own hands.
Now they are filled with sky.
My heart a bone with all the marrow eaten out.
Now it is your flute.
What was obvious has been concealed by
I desire and I do not desire.
Now all I want is you.
I hear your voice
coming from a vase of yellow peonies swarmed with ants
Do whatever you want.
I also hear the waterfall of praise
as pine trees stagger in a drunken April wind.
Go to the Master whose robes
are not made of hundred dollar bills
whose hands are human hands not flowers
whose smile is full of yellow human teeth.
Go to that Master and kneel
by the flooded river he makes of your own heart.
Now I wash my feet with tears and dry them with my hair.
Our bodies are condemned at birth.
There is no herb for the dead.
We run, we tire, we stagger under pine trees towards the grinding teeth
but with these hands I borrow from the dead
I will praise the creator and destroyer.
Let my body have what it deserves:
the embrace of friendship, the consolation of ecstasy.
In the insufficient light of evening when stars fall
I will give you back these empty hands
and you will give me your hands in return.
Copyright 2000 Charlie Hopkins
Charlie Hopkins is poetry editor of this website.