Gayle Harvey


          MAN OF FIRE

                            —after Orozco


Unbidden, crimson dervishes or infernos of panicked

hats unfurling like virgins above us.


His cosmetic edges itch evil.

His belly churns holocausts. His eyes

are live ammo.


Hoisted without leg irons, his scraped hands and knees

bleed geraniums.

The moon blooms like a noble persimmon in the center

of the universe.


He’s higher than the devil’s bread knife.

He’s a sorcerer’s bracelet, invasively gleaming.


While you sleep, he combusts,

becomes an overturned symphony orchestra.

A scatter of red doves. Eve’s apple. The chaste rage

of archangels.


Give him planets to consume. A cobra’s

wine glass to drink from.

His heart does not flinch from the Holy of



He blasphemes. He meditates

till his foreshortened frame’s molten lava.

A tropical bird’s nest. Hegemony’s aurora.


When you wake in the celibate dark,

he is licking the ash

from your belly. Your broken lips.


He must leave you, descending mud steps

with his hatchets of damage.


Bombardments ongoing,

he’s forever a counterpoint of conflagration,

tolling fiery roses, explosions of


Copyright © 2003 Gayle Harvey.  All Rights Reserved.

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