Friday, May 04, 2007

Cain and Abel

reworking "Leda and the Swan"

His brother leaning back on him, he clasps
him with his thighs, works up the leather, lithe
languorous giving, quickening to gasps
familiar. The corn stands tall. He weighs his scythe.

How can the heart spluttering the same blood wash
and tell the knives apart, which passion, Cain?
How can rough shepherd hands pull out the gash
in the man writhing under thorn-shaped pain?

A jealous seizure spawns a city, a look-out,
a king and other castes--Lamech the brave,
music and metal-making sons. He slumps
Abel on his bronzed back and tramps about.
A raven scratches the ground. Cain digs a grave,
tosses in sand. Toes sprout, and wings, white stumps.

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