A surreal ballad
We followed the river like a locket chain,
Link by fluid link
And when we reached the end, we leapt,
Where the silver clasp with water’s swept
And signed with silver ink.
And as we tumbled through the air,
We cried our fatal call,
While women jeered from everywhere
Beneath our fatal fall.
We sailed downward for thirteen years,
Singing phoenix songs,
While we plucked from the air a burning tune
And our twining hands held a burnished moon,
Our fingers, pointed prongs.
The air whistled and whirled in our ears.
We calmed our fearful path,
And all the children came and went,
While their mothers spat, with talons bent;
We endured their fearful wrath.
And farther down, we caught a memory,
Beneath a sighing hill,
Of lust and glory and tepid misery,
That keeps us sighing still.
And all of the men above scoffed indulgently
As we laughed our liquid laugh,
While the women scowled and glared behind
The gem-trees that grow where the rivers wind
‘Round an old man’s rusty staff
At last, we plunged into a churning pool,
Crowned in foam and froth
And when we rose to breathe again,
The night was lit by the golden grin,
And burning oilcloth.