Soldiers in Love
Five hundred voices out of one mouth
cannot deflect the child's cry.
No matter how many bodies respond
the earth is still hungry for more,
This knife is the one I use
to shave my compatriot.
I wash his hair with almond soap,
feel his skin beneath its edge.
He blushes as I wipe the blade,
There is one word we cannot say.
It likens kings to fools,
peasants to rich men.
It waters this ground
until the mud mucks our calves.
It falls from the clouds not as lightning
but omen or portent.
Dunes by the green glass slabs of the waves.
Spice on the tongue of the breeze, wool
wet by the sweat of the sea, thunderó
running dog on the horizon.
Stray as far as they can toward the edge.
A hundred white sparks of unsullied light.
"Is that a boat or a cliff?" The wide moon
opens her perfect mouth wider.
Two bodies, grains of sand
caught on the borders of flesh, crossed here
borders no peace can defeat.
So you say love is in the stars?
Could I have seen it then,
a boy wielding my sword,
my heart swelling at the merest glance from your eyes?
Tomorrow when the gods abandon you
you will wear my armour in battle.
Your body will feel the contours
of the metal my body has brushed.
You are your father's glory
and what of mine?
What claim have I on you
other than brother and trusted friend?
This, and this. I claim this
and this and this. Each part of skin
warmed by the heat of the fire,
lit by the burning stars.