Monday, October 29, 2007

Leonardo Alishan: Lazarus

Today I celebrate my health
with the taste of cigarettes
and the smell of fresh coffee.
Today I can pass
the ordeal of molten brass.
I can walk on fire
and survive poisoned wine.
Today I am a divine king
dressed for a festival
in rags.
Today the sun is a golden disc
I flung into the sky.
The sparrows are my courtiers
chirping proper praises,
and all the lights turn green.
Today jealous gods argue
over my fatherhood
and my worst poems
look good.
Though it is not noon yet
and by late afternoon
I may be begging a worm
to lend an ear to my woes,
it is not noon yet
and there is time to walk
unrecognized among my people,
to wipe a tear with a joke
and gloom with a compliment.
Today my wings feel fresh,
today my hands feel fine.
Today my heart is as happy
as a drunk vagabond
invited into a brothel
for the night.
And, who knows, by tonight
I may feel up to it
to fly into the sky
and light the moon for you,
for today I am alive,
my lungs are bigger
than a pelican's beak,
my liver is as soft
as a swallow's breast,
and nothing
seems impossible.

Copyright Leonardo Alishan.
From the volume Dancing Barefoot On Broken Glass, Ashod Press, New York, 1991.

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