the wax paper

 MEZCAL

Anthony Seidman


Galeguetza carnival, Oaxaca;

Midnight in the zócalo


After the red

spider of thirst

scratched

 down my throat

& wove

her web of acid,

I drank a bottle.

The salt film before

my eyes

peeled:

shadows turned to smoke,

a bloodstream of color

sprayed

in the boom

of fireworks,

the faithful

raised

bottles while

fingers of xylophone

dug

into my eyes,

plucked daylight

from memory,

thus, unblinded,

I stumbled by

the Zapotec women who

genuflected 

before a tree,

poured libations for

man-root,

woman-fish,

and the prodigal dead.


Anthony Seidman's most recent collection of poetry is entitled A Sleepless Man Sits Up In Bed (Eyewear Publishing, London).  Recent translations, poems, and articles have been published in Poetry International, New American Writing, The Bitter Oleander, and LARB.