Stomach with a skin of light.
Without a knife he opened himself up.
Without a knife.
Chinese letters marched around him in formation,
a military equestrian parade—
He was adept, in my book on the golden flower.
On a bed of peacock tails.
And he was opening his abdomen with both his hands,
parting it like curtains.
And I thought if I looked at him long enough, I might go through there.
Through the flame-shaped opening.
Where there sat another lotus-sitting figure.
And the captain said, Origin of a new being in the place of power.
And so I thought, that was the flower.
What was the body but a scalpel and a light what was it—
Rubbing an oil into scars like a river for the first time I touched them—
I was an adept in the book of vivid pain, I used my finger like a knife—
to hurt myself, but to somehow get back in—
like the little man opening his belly right up,
and the little man resting inside there.
But how could I. When I would not enter the flower-shaped opening.
When I hovered
But never leaving it, always nearing it, a fly on the verge of something
Was that what the body was, a sweetness?
Hive ringed by fire.
And the adept says, That's you on the bed: Empty Chamber.
And your stomach
is open like a coat—
It's black in there, deep.
It's red in there, thick
with the human loam—
And all along your ghost head and your shoulders
you can feel the wet
as you slide back in,
your tissues cupping you like hands.
The body: worm round an ember of light.
You're in it now.