Better angels, with flight lost to that skyward ruin
and tossed to Earth, where they will surely do in
time, as mortal souls, a dance of celebration
for the humanity of Icarus and his determination
to fly, as they themselves become more luminous beings
having left behind the wry conspiracy of angels wings.
I lived in a temple. When I turned eleven, I lowered myself reluctantly onto a sculpted stone phallus, so no man could take what was mine to give. I was the Queen of Heaven, and you called me a whore.
I knew the secrets of the patriarch and the rank breath of the profit. The list of my husbands and lovers is a history of saints, heroes, popes, and kings; and, still, you called me a whore.
I followed wayward crusaders east into the dusty Levant, camped with the Union Army on the shore of the Potomac, and serviced a hundred soldiers a day on the islands of Imperial Japan. I served your country, and you called me a whore.
I watched the best families pimp their daughters for personal gain, again and again, and you called me a whore.
I have endured the imprisonment of my body and suffered the violence of your desire too long. The absurd mask of your hypocrisy has been revealed. Before I rise to take my throne again, you should ask yourself why, why you called me a whore.
A remarkable primate, swimming
out to a sandbar off the coast of North Africa
to gather shells for barter, found the tide
had come in and the sandbar beyond the reach
of his hairy toes. His muscles quickly tired
from the effort to stay afloat and he sucked
and gurgled for breath between waves.
The ocean responded, in its fashion, “Qui vive?”
but he was left to drown for his Neanderthal lack
of French. Eventually, he washed up on the beach,
bloated, but refined by his intercourse
with the fishes. A crowd of jellyfish gathered
and agreed among themselves
that there was no hope for this Barbary Ape,
mocking the sloped forehead
and the way he had toddled on bandy legs.
Soon, hungry crabs began to appear from the dunes,
throwing a red cloak over the dead.
Sitting in their bed, sharing thoughts and sipping Starbucks coffee, their memories resonated, like notes of distant music, thrumming in the artifacts gathered and placed so carefully around the conscious space they shared.
He rolled his hand on rumpled sheets, inviting her touch, and the brown skin of her fingers interlaced with the white skin of his. It was a natural fit. They felt it when they met, so many years ago, determined in love, regardless of the skeptics, the orthodoxy, and the outright anger that confronted them.
They felt it when they met, and they knew it absolutely in that present moment, as their beautiful children lay sleeping, healthy, safe and warm, perfect in their imperfections, insisting in their peaceful repose that love—not tradition nor history nor tribe nor clan nor culture nor theory—but love in all its brilliant promise is the best and true eugenics and the only healthy path for the pilgrimage of humanity.