A Hot Night, Odysseus Stands Before A Window
The sound of a trumpet,
like the call of a bull elephant
moments before the fabled graveyard
is reached and its pair of ivory tusks
are earthly surrendered as tribute
to the weight of overwhelming yesteryears.
The sound of a trumpet,
like the cry of a heart
in the lost desert of night;
a heart squeezed between two dawns,
blown apart by the memories
of footsteps trod on other people’s dreams.
Odysseus visualizes the trumpeter’s thick lips
pursed with pain that craves to be shed,
cheeks inflated, two walls trying to protect;
the sound produced seduces the spaces
between the disks of his spine
as he stands naked in the night’s ambiguous shrine –
the distant hum of wandering beasts,
the cry of an unwell child
struggling with the heat.
It is an implausibly hot night,
the oppressive air
a lair within his head
to catch thoughts
that should have been put to bed.
The heat makes everything unreal.
Trapped before the window - a mast
in the city’s ocean of night - unable
to flee or fight;
the trumpet’s sound creates him,
calls him home
and away again
as it pries apart his mind.
He grows fearful he might forget the King
He had become – decides the epitaph
will choose his choices
that cannot be undone;
the actions, thoughtless and destructive,
that litter the waves
like the sun-glinting bones
of lost sailors searching for landfall.
The city’s colours melt, merge,
are bent by sounds, by smells,
by memory; the stars swirl bright,
attack the dark, like the trumpet,
shake his faith as he stands
in the front of the open window.
The belated breeze hounds,
the bricks spit heat,
his mind treads old sentences,
merges verbs to nouns,
imagines a thousand possible excuses
forcibly swallowed, his throaty apple
moving up and down like the slice of a sword,
before the lie is set to flight.
She stirs behind him –
he remembers it was originally her smile,
then the way her right hand
twirled her reddish hair; the blouse
untied and spread and the nipple
not yet erect, kissed
and as he flared
he forgot the promise
and surrendered to the call of the beast.
He had hoped it was a dream,
that his standing before the window,
his right hand
idling touching his limp cock,
That the picture he had tried to paint
as his life…had become…
that the trumpet was soothing
not The Siren calling him out again.
Would he ever rid himself
of the torment of that mast?
Must he always succumb?
Never be able to resist the echoes
that, like waves, forever call him…
take him further away from the kingdom,
the children and Penelope’s open arms?
When did he breathe so deep
that he inhaled the desert surrounding Troy
and now Its sands
reside within his lumbering lungs?