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In the Saloon of Last Reflections 
michael larrain

The stars have gone out of their heads from drinking sea-water
The sea devours all our toys
particularly the stick-horses
The sun hurls us brutally against
the windows in one another
The confectioner's snow of the moon
spoils everything
Now close the sun & look at your eyes
then press it against me
that pearl that would partially exist
if every living creature on earth
were dreaming at the same time
If daylight were the only flower
ever to open at night
I would still go down to the plain
where bloodsmoke rises from your hands
& you venture out in a flannel nightgown
to strike a kitchen match against the sea
& hold it to the keyhole
of all the catacombs inside an orange
at dawn when the train slows down
& the sky slows down
& I lean down to pick up a pitcher
filled with your famished silence
Bring me these three things
the hinges of a dead ocean
the stolen documents of those extraordinary children
who for hours on end watch dust motes
floating in shafts of sunlight
& the mad hillbilly who built his still
in the shadow of what they have seen
I cannot seem to quit smoking
the erased tape of your hair in my sleep
the urge to become as large as my anger
or your voice with more sleeves
than falling back to sleep
For you are the Duke Ellington of Eyelids
My desire is for wings that fold in my sleep
like white paper around a cube of butter
only I would be so much better off
as constable in charge of the triangle
calling the monks of your order
to acts of arson & murder
Undoubtedly our own blood would slaughter us
if only it could get outside
Left-handed at the moment of death
I grow bored with my intensity
Bring me your clitoris
which the the lucky penny in the devil's new purse
the mind of god meanwhile
moving from the left-hand speaker to the right
strangled in between by the cool homicidal stream
known to fishers in these waters
as half-life-of-a-knife-stroke
No one can move their hips like that
It's impossible and I forbid it within the confines
of this kingdom called oh never mind
Who hires these dogs who come to howl at drownings
& later hustle free drinks all night?
How can I keep this taste on my tongue
without becoming a private eye
hired to follow lemons throughout the sea?
& lastly I must ask you
where else would a ladder ever lead except to fire?
Betrayed by the one ray of hope
we bop around between closing time & sunup
Wolves want your milk, baby,
Whales want the lining of your evening bag
I would like the smoke off your dice
or the spray from your orange peel
Listen to me
for you I would be a parson
whose entire congregation is a single stone
I would be the watch chain of infinity
in the thoughts of some old dolphin
I would not be the world
not for all the world
Only the most followable fire
can abide by the moon's parquet floors
or as we say around here
& bring me this once
that rocking chair made of glass
whose runners instead of shadow-staves
distribute along the furrows of the earth
the curved lavender
of how we ever managed to become plural in the first place
When a spider sits upon this chair
it is reduced immediately to a tear
which falls into a begging bowl
belonging to my bannister
This bannister runs upriver beginning at the town
which only last night was passed by your carriage
& thereby rendered memoryless
Now the inhabitants all hold out their hands
as if they could not tell
which objects were their own children
until it arrives at the wheel-ruts filled with a bloodthirsty light
which has traveled this far
that it might reproduce
by virtue of touching your earring
Come over here
so that I may watch you in that black velvet dress
squatting to pee in the long damp grass
somewhere down around midnight
I am not the dwarf under the porch
I am the one who could not love you
until you stepped out of the sunshine
& every empty decanter broke out in a cold dew
Come over here
with your torso from which swords withdraw behind heavy drapes
in order to confer with their ministers
Wild Card/Mistaken Identity/Famine of Bells/
Inconsolable grief/Tomboy/Taste of Straw Late at Night
& the Unopenable Mail of the Snow
You see my darling
Knives are a way which water has
of washing its hands
You are a way that I have found
of something to do between meteorites
Never before has gold been ridiculed
by mezzo sopranos of satin
Never before has silver
declared a moratorium on silk
Listen to me
Your walk has destroyed its last drum-kit
I love you at least as much as these veins in your breast
would like to bring those boys up from the mines
but by now I've been thrown so far by my own shadow
that I had to walk all the way back
past a collection of cottages
in which the wallpaper can be used
to bribe the bee-keeper
in the swarm of your stretching
first thing in the morning
& past those black holes in space
being held for questioning
by the spots on a butterfly's wing
Your panties surrendered the cavalry to the Indians
& past the old women who sit in doorways
putting up jars of dust for winter
& the road is crooked exactly like
the missing half of the ticket
which will be torn in two
as soon as
I can draw my bow across your palomino rain again
Set me free and I'll head straight for the herb
which will force me to return to you
Come on over here
while your dance destroys meaning for the bell of it
I awakened because somewhere you were kneeling
to make me hear
the grass growing through the pavement
over my grave
there in the rice wine of a prolonged rainfall
we did not know we had lost in common
I said
Bring me the bubble pipe of the Milky Way
Bring me your belly of diabolical lilies
which cover the tracks of convicts
In this exact thigh
night is about to dismurmur its first sea otter
& already you've taken the law into your own gestures
Bring me
the time-release starlight
which has parted your hair
Come on over here
& say unto me the softest words your know
How I love you how I come what love you may I do
or oh I'll try to might be able to & where
are we off to now?”
Farmhand of fire Farmhand of snow
My daughter will give her love to one
& the other will bow
& weep like light broken against a mountain
Bring me the flame that eats the lining of its jacket
Bring me the thing that makes you who you are
the only wood-nymph ever to be lost at sea
Come over here
The world is a birthmark that no one has ever seen

About the author

Michael Larrain was born in Los Angeles in 1947. He is the author of three collections of poems: The Promises Kept In Sleep, Just One Drink for the Diamond Cutter and For One Moment There Was No Queen. Rainy Day Women Press of Willits, CA, has recently released a CD of his reading of selected love poems called Lipstick: a Catalogue for Continuous Undressing. His novels are South of the North Star, Movies on the Sails and As the Case May Be.

He lives in Sonoma County (California) with his wife and two year old daughter, Wilder Kathleen the Rage of Paris Larrain and has long been a senior partner in the Way Up, Firm and High Tail It Bright Out of Town Detective Agency, a group of shady characters devoted to the discrediting of reality. www.sonomaunions.com