we don't have to change our religion

or the name plates on our desks

to wear the thorny crown.

you, the dusty crucifix king

and me, napoleon in rags-

spitting up dirt, with jewels in our hands

cursing the gold and kissing the ground

with our office ties still sticking to our necks.

(like flowers to my wrist

and wires from my heart),

floorboards moan and flowers bloom

and the minute hands moves to minus one.

india isn't so far away, my dear.

your gold skin to my pale,

placid reasoning shocks the light

and lights the dark.

my fingers are absent of finery of any sort;

a deed or thought, and less a ring or two.

where's the harm?

the harm, lies deep red on his face

on his lips.

rather than yours, I mean.

you make me smile.

not like those curves so thick with syrup

reserved with a hanging sign for him.

twisted; like the thoughts bolting off my mind

like skeins of cloth away from my figure

(which I always wished was lighter.)

laughing; you always made me laugh

sideways—the way I

never could with him.

the deserts and explosions retreat.

newspapers, cold and lank

remain so on my porch.

sweet Afghanistan, wait a moment

i want to smile today.