Metaphysics took my mindoff things.

Now I’m coming to mysenses,

An astronaut with his headin a washing machine.

I stink, therefore I am.It’s a good start.

The pure is sterile; thesterile is unclean.

The stepwell smells like aswimmer’s towelling.

That Euro coin’s aconsecrated host.

It has travelled frombum-bags through tollgates

To a church with apay-view Tintoretto.

The tongue I clean with anold silver spoon

Has tasted soda bread, thesalt of lithium,

And the roll-on deodorantof a suicide.

I take off my glasses tosee the blur better

With Vaseline on the lens,muslin from Mosul.

That Hindu airport cleanerclears to a gondolier.

The heart hears. It beatsone billion times

For the vole, for thedolphin, for the Down Syndrome,

The Bishops of Rome. Thenit listens. Hush.

That was the sane, theinsanitary place

Where we bowed down lowbefore the depths we rise to.

Like poor Napoleon to hisJosephine,

A creole with her stump ofmercury soap,

I call to the world of myown five sensei:

Dearest, I shall be withyou tonight. Do not wash.