“Whatever can / be destroyed is going to be destroyed. Patience, patience. / Hate what needs to be hated. All is finished. All’s completed.”—A. F. Moritz.
Skin. An eye. An ulcer. Whatever
can bleed will be torn by the nail
or the knife. Matter that ripens, that
rots, will be cuisine for the grubs.
If it can burn, be it paper,
or muscle, or coal, it will be ash
when the sun swells and reddens,
taking the inner planets into its bloom
when the apparatus falters.
Whatever can be destroyed
with a look, with a glance, will stand
before the basilisk, the gorgon,
or the cockatrice, and will petrify
as when the heat escapes, all at once,
from a face, from a forest,
and is swapped with layers of
many-coloured silica. Whatever
can be lied about, will. I have
forgotten you. This sentence
is going to be destroyed.
And the nail as well. And the knife.
And the grub. And the sun will
corrode and get dull and
pass into a fizzled, brown lump.
All of this is to say even
a mountain is fragile, even
one that came from the bottom
of the world, that came by inches,
by eons, that rose over India, and was worn.
The erosion of Eliki, of New Orleans,
will be repeated. Even the Earth,
at intervals, must miscarry.
And what to do in the interim
but revel in the soft tissue? To conduct
the blood inaudibly to our extremities
in the revelling. To taste the spit
in our mouths. Burn through
the calories. Savour the injury.
Hate what needs to be hated.
Fracture, cancer, lesion, and virus.
Though a virus might be taught
to sing like a wren, become
the darling instrument on which
we play our message: Dear reader,
all was beautiful. All was sugar
transformed by the sun. All
was teeming in the seas. All was
admired while we could admire it.
All is finished. All’s completed.