Of Wildness Coming

what trembles when she comes inside me,
this ancient child of wildness, buried force
birthing her heat
from nail to nail, veins blazing against
the caravan of straight habits
whose couth turns uncouth in spasms
as if by sudden inhalation of fire,
mornings, nights,
jolts out of the tepid vault of day
into the dreamy bolt of tropics untamed?

wanting to thrust her hands
into hair fueled by hot juices, she
chutes down this throat of
open occupation,
past wet trees, through raining skies
with cries spiked as jungle roses,
past orchids that drip off tiers
down the walls of breathfall,

and she plunges
her pulse into rivers
of coursing steam, a carnival
of savage momentum that curves
out of faces
from the deepest sources, waters
sticky with hidden designs, their frothy impulse
aswarm with passion vines

the humid cry,
not a parent’s voice, not a vast warning,
is hers and mine, sultry and wild,
immemorial, beautiful beast
of lips
that tensely slow now
like a slick snail that licks its way
across moss, and sneaks
through impenetrable grottoes, lungs
merging her dark passage
with the scent of salt candles
as her eyes meet the slashing parrots
in the canopy of dancing brain above

and at the heart’s lagoon
where she stops, she dives
with reptiles, fingers choking scales
that thrash the lake like daily chains
inside her bubble of dust,
teethmeal ground to flood the stomach

and she blows to vivid life
one more fire

then, as quick as come,
she’s gone,
leaving the frontiers shaken,

and in that surge of urgent life,
paths like pulled pleats ripple open
to quake again
on the bed I follow
while I run sleeping
as if beyond her, death
were worth her ever-coming


(c) J. Celan Smith