Book of Sinners – Sofija Popovska
April 5, 2022
I. Prayer of St. Tantalus
Revelation 3:16: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."
Out of St. Sophia's three daughters I always leaned to the one with the arrows,
The speared dove whose blood trickles among rocks like a searching hand.
Ten swords mark the spot where the heart may have been
And two tumbled cups caress a coalescence hoped for not very long ago,
Splayed veins of spillage form coagulating crimson arabesques.
And so, the barelaying of my soul,
In layman's terms, in terminal spasms,
For the abatement of interminable solipsism:
What I want: Not This:
The nacreous naught concealed by the doe-eye of a doleful Naiad,
The lustful limp of Hephaestus' antediluvian ankle,
The sagging flourish of baroque elocution,
Whispered bitter nothings behind a morning glory pavilion.
I don't want nothing —
Not a double negation, rather the refusal
Of doubled words,
The approaching and retreating of warmth,
One laid over the other in confusing tenderness,
In the vile promise of absence. Coming and going,
I would rather you were
Entirely absent, aborted, unborn.
Leave me with the sun, with the blood rushing up from behind lilac hills
Like the peony that blooms in a syringe.
II. At the Grave (Mary Magdalene)
Peering into The stone,
I didn't find you Among the ghosts
That looked on, Glazed over,
Confused. They rearranged your sheets,
Now empty, To look like mountains
Farther away, And split by a train whistle.
They asked me why I stood halved
At the entrance, Crying.
The sheets That are fragments
Of the debt that you owed Not to me,
Fold over the horizon, And betray my breathing,
As the river betrays My eye,
Among the kindness Of ghosts
Confused, Asking softly
How come The sunrise pierces me
And blood Trickles into the stone
Like a searching hand.
My eye Betrays my mind,
As I turn To the figure behind me
I hope For a single tear from the gray stranger.
Gray before My treacherous eye
Dawns on his face. And he says:
III. Abandon (Judas Iscariot)
The hail comes Like stone doves
Like silver coins On a stone floor
Rises from the ground Kissing sensitized ankles
A new name dawns A new flesh
To fill an old name A trajectory
Averting my eyes It won't be long until
I walk towards you
Dawn comes Like a searching hand
Sifting through my names To find the one that isn't a hiss
I am to become A curved dagger
On other lips
Crescents fill your eyes Searching dewily
For doubt In my face
For a reason to plead The judicial voice
To assign another destiny
You are appalled at my surrender
It won't be long now. Dawning
Are flames over lilac hills
I was dealt The Hanged Man
I fill your house with silver
You are appalled at my resolve
Tears come Kissing unsuspecting knuckles
"You've never lost someone dear to you?"
I am lost to every eye and every heart
And every hand crumbles away from me
And the sky answers me
With the silence of a bloodshot eye
My blood trickles over rocks and fields Like a searching hand
My name is Friend. Do what you must
My name is A sentence
I will wait for you My faith is amorous abandon
Abandoned Your blood trickles over your eyes
Searching For the memory of tears
And for the memory of a kiss. On lips
Who haven't forsaken my name
I fill your house with silver
And walk away
I will be there Before you