Sugar Transformed By the Sun

Winter, 2012–2013 / No. 29

“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.

Patience, patience.

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.