Ange Mlinko, p.2


Apart from the ligneous, Sanskrit lilacs,
there was a strange purplish flower constructed
like a clock bees could not be deterred from
—so engrossed they were, groomed by a finger;
it was the Danish boy who claimed to have had
a hard time learning German, but not English,
what an older man teaches to a Japanese girl
among the fig trees and stone basins,
as much integer as virgin, when the skinheads come
to the southeast staircase by the Greek marbles,
the only published place with a bathroom.
Security caught one of them writing a novel,
“Smaragdus.” Taking the calcined ashes of seaweed,
cuttlefish ink and a young salmon on its way back
to freshwater, it was possible to make an elixir
that would make one a weapon: a full-grown man.
It was embarrassing to be transported
on the howdah when in the process
of assignation we were nomads.
Someone said Portuguese was a dialect
of Spanish; though we were neither,
without a drop of such blood as sang in the veins
of Camöens, the bathroom was faïence,
steam on things, like wax on Fassi writing tablets.
In addition to green, brown and blue fatigues
there was silver camouflage to wear
in the coastal mists to complete
the theological task of appearances,
unmolding the thoughts we bore the brunt of
in order to exaggerate into paradise
from the nave of the street, or at the transept
under swaying traffic lights of transposed bells
nobly penurious but solvent in histories,
where the boat decants a bird,
displaces pages toward the shore,
where one was a citizen of every part
of paradise before one came to dwell
in its Rome, and call it Literature by the Sea.