Thus in the Limit

Thus in the Limit is a sequence of poems as well as the form they are written in, which was derived from the Arabic / Persian / South Asian ghazal form. A few of these poems appeared in the Cafe Review, and a few appeared in Diagram.


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here for the fountains
of youth and chocolate. She found them occupado.

Occupational hazards and other children follow
her through the streets, but the alleys disobey,

dissolving like salt behind her. You can find her now
tucked in behind the baking soda with her umbrella,

unbearable to her parents, who claw at the old country,
backs to a black hole of immodesty and television,

transvestites and flavored mayonnaise, of mountains,
moonless nights that almost resemble, almost reassemble


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here with a bag full
of chalk and yellow tape. Her fear of snakes

sneaks up on her now and again, coiling her
on herself like the long braids of the peculiar

pelacur girls she used to watch with a braid
of envy, fear, and desire. She is a tidal wave,

a tiny wafer, lingering on the tongue
of a Priest, full of unsprung anticipation,

an incipience and a retrospect and the twisted cable
connecting them, impossibly long and longing


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here drawn
by the moonlight and the rainy gallop,

gali gali she was at first, but her body
was quickly swallowed by the long shrift –

shafts of light on even the most moonless
night recall her sitting, transformed,

transfixed at her milky disk, scribbling,
frantic. The distance makes her motion

motionless, but expands her kisses, petals,
thorns, through infirmity to infinity


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here on a cloud
from the Kingdom of Napping, cottled,

cauterized from aspiration or despair, she,
since a fair princess among rose pedals,

peddler of wheres in a language strange
to hear spoken this way or written –

ridden, strap-worn, callused in odd places,
making her unlocatable, casteless.

Castles circle in the nali, nali sky, impossible
it is become to tell rain from reign


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here with a needle
pointing at the North of her self’s future.

Furniture came easily enough, found as it was
on the end-of-term curbs in piles of excess,

excreted as part of that ancient fight-or-flight
response. Still, does she miss the dragonflies

flagging down the hill now, drowning in ponds
frozen at the edge? We don’t know. We turn nunmon,

mountain nuns in a twisted sex-palace of mind.  But we know
that she is missed by the pond and frozen mist


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here clutching after death
like it was the world’s last breadstick, tattered,

teetering on the edge of a table like a lever
poised above its fulcrum to shift the world,

whirled around the head of God like a nunchuck
swung by that kid in community college: acne

acknowledged by the scars on his face
and a loneliness that he has not outgrown.

Her gown shimmers in the chiaro di luna.
Her beauty refracts, amplifies, redacts


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here in ceramic,
stenciled with the tiniest blue flowers.

Followers chanted her name, but were seldom
understood, and seeped through the pores,

pouring eventually out of her memory, sloughed
entirely. Now she has become contemplative,

contemporary in her choices, cozy and surrounded
by bolts of reassurance. She sometimes feels nuet,

nestled as she is among dust and doilies, surrounded
and preserved by teak, persevering despite


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here carrying a pizza,
and now it all stuffed crusts, slivered pepperoni,

parapets of cheese all around the edge and you
can almost see how she could forever defend,

forever pretend this land far away from the hands
quaking still with intemperate desire, perspiration,

prescription for disaster should she ever return
to the valley of her birth, calling, coaxing, cooing

coacaz, coacaz, coacaz . . .   But here grubby hands
recall forgotten industry. In God we trust.


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here in a wallet,
crisply folded and with that new-car smell.

Small hands and large eyes seem ready
to fall in love on a night when stars stop

and start, dropping furtive winks between
fast-moving clouds. This one like a kobe.

Could be. Everything is faster here and plastic,
but she loves the feeling that even the moon

means for her to be the first only one to see,
verging on a dawn that is also extra virgin


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here overflowing
with a need to feel superior, an age-old

rage holds her heart – gentle but joyless,
resentful, like holding the hair of the girl

hurling in the dorm toilet. Still beautiful –
still never going to fuck you. One day she

may see you again, and generations later
erupt like a pimple on a weedy chlapec,

slapstick now, from far away, but the boy
is a killer, has no nation, no hesitation


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here speaking
of the pompatus of freedom, cramped,

crammed in a shipping container with
a one in three chance of survival,

sore, vital signs taken by the bác si.
Now like a rainy field, she courses,

curses the memory, down the hill
and into the desert garden carrying

carrion dreams like fertilizer, rich
like reconnaissance, like renaissance


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here on the sun,
scraping night from the earth like a razor.

Raise her to the window. You will see
how she glints sharply off her edge

Heritage erupts from her wrists and eyes
as she oppresses dawn with her own alba

all but gone now, as necessity, humidity
combine with omnipresent agriculture,

acrid vultures waiting for her pride
to grind itself down, tiring, retiring


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here on an airplane
at night, more tired than she had ever,

never anticipating the more tired still
she would become. Beneath her go cars,

cargo pulsing in the glowing spider-veins
of cities. Some cars work towards home,

some towards work, or shopping, or picking up
or dropping off children. These lines make her see

her Cici, who used to say that the lines in a face
mean all of these things, mean all things


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here in a dark tunnel, dark,
clinging to her Rudraksha beads like a child’s doll,

calls dialed by a man with a scar and a scar
and another scar and a table of contents,

conscience unable completely to contain the index
of felonies, crowded out by missed deals or

misdemeanors of the standard variety.
Gallons (now) and more gallons more of water

wash over her, but she is old enough, knows reflections,
how scars repel water, how ripples imperil the stars


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here tropfend
like a filter clogging with grounds,

sounds dogging her like the conversations
of sleeveless men, private, but distended,

intended to be overheard, the way
a dam is meant to overfill,

overflow and spill around the sides,
expecting back the current of the sea,

the currentcy of sex that savages its way
upstream, its sects so unrelenting, unrepenting


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here impressed
with the smallness and largeness of things:

the gnarled mess of strings collecting
in the corner like incense at a requiem,

like quorum-sensing bacteria on a thin plate
dissected from the livers of spinsters

sponsored by lovers from across the ocean.
A young nurse now, her daughter sighs,

cauterizes a wound on yet another ragged
narechena, its once-sublime sublimating


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here rabota
on all fours braking only for children,

windshield streaked with the corpses
of the nameless, almost pure protein.

A pro team wants the man-child beside
her, and she understands the road ahead:

a red hood of shame and brief notoriety,
but she knows the she by then transformed,

hands morphed in two protein shaped
too balls cartilaginous, Carthaginous


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here recently, not
escaping oppression, poverty, famine,

family, or time, but just to find the sky
a different color. She found it to be full

and beautiful, but unpronounceable. She
longed for women who had the same diction,

yet had become addicted to the fences
and the grandeza of cars, but had fallen

most of all in love with the strangeness
of her children, a thing to battle, to belittle


Thus in the limit

Just like you, she came here subdivided,
partitioned as if between two worlds,

whirled like balancing on a perfect sphere,
too fast to fall. One of her component parts

a proponent of the svoboda bought in bulk,
wedded, as it were, to fate and chance, looked

askance at those who sought perfection. Yet
another, silent as an eye, seeks predictability,

the bleak virility of the eternal, even if
it means the death of the human, the humane

Science, Poetry, and Current Events, where "Current" and "Events" are Broadly Construed