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Special Leftovers

Written by Allen Caldiera

They have constructed the cocoon,
sparkling, diamond-body, fecund
sac of mottled clay, congealing
in a formless flotilla, the dew pearl,
a stamen for the light of moon.

And the soul is ferried
across the channel, a future fortress
for the fire-brand ball balancing
against the stem of mast,
basking in the lake before the river
before the castle, whose towers
it will rest in, whose apses
it will hover above while soldiers
work alembics and furnaces, shelter
windsacks and retorts, who press the ashes
of a phoenix cooked in clay into
the form of a future body, the form,
homunculus, fed by the blood of seven kings
and left to flower in the strike of daylight.

And the body is breathed, astrologers
operate breathwork automatons by the stars,
which haul fireworks to the shoreline, which stoke
the ember of an endless flame formed
from sunlight in their stomachs,
the priestesses and virgins flock
against shores, against the weight
of their hope, their longing for new days,
for re-born kings, for the unfurling
of the sail of the sun.

And the king unfurls his fingers,
tendrils of day, and embarks
in the memory of chrysalis,
the reconfiguration, molding of his body
in a soup thick like sap, mutable
like marble-mirrored light beams, hot as
fire on a wrung-dry forest floor, cold as
the shelterless northern wanderers in night.
“And where had I been when I was
there? How to know the body
if it is reconfigured ceaselessly?
How can one be himself when there
are infinite one’s to become? Is there a spark
is there a core? Is there any inkling of
immutability anywhere in”

And then a jolt –

the merchants
and soldiers, handmaids and schoolboys,
priestesses and plum farmers,
flower-haired, confetti-formed,
waiting at the shore to ferry him home.
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