Lullaby [For Charles Baudelaire]

By Lynn Xu
Lie me down to heal in sleep, do not let me wake
In sin, the tongue
Cancels another year, another painted storm
In the coral caves, some pious poet
Drunk on vapors
Swatting tomb-bats in the nightwood, would that
Wayward bark sunned white
Be also thunder, a hill of bones drumming—thud
Thud, a wake
Of buzzards braiding into the loosening skull—the redoubled fists
Of students like an island in the bramble chained—I have been told
To reason, lawless, empty, without rights—
But I am old
Not age, I have been told
To match its columns by our footfall, prophet—I am not
The straw or garland of our Sirens, not the brow
Of holly, nor the warble
Of any lark

Lynn Xu, “Lullaby [For Charles Baudelaire]” from Debts & Lessons. Copyright © 2013 by Lynn Xu. Reprinted by permission of Omnidawn Publishing.
Source: Debts & Lessons (Omnidawn Publishing, 2013)
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