Adriaen het Kint

Adriaen het Kint, dead prisoner,
passes back through the eye of the needle
into the wombed-shaped anatomy theater
in a caul of umbra mortis, lo.
Tho I pass through the valley of the shadow
of death, I wear a caul stitched by the needle
through which a camel passed, like the condom
passed through the drug mule, sperm
through the pierced condom, a camera
through a heart.  Just as
the face of every Dutchman
is lit by a flashbulb conceived
two hundred years in the future,
Adriaen het Kint now lifts a flayed hand
to demonstrate
how to put the god back together
once he’s been dismembered
and scattered among the reeds.
Adriaen het Kint,
shall we gather at the river
to scoop up the disjecta membra? How,
with flayed hand,
shall we pluck the white lyre
that rides the black thorax
of the zika mosquito,
resplendent in her viral robes?
She is a messenger to all nations as she
lowers her improbable proboscis
into the human layer
and vomits an inky toxin
from the Greek
for arrow ink
for arrow, an arrow that
sinks its bleat into the alien chordata
so that the future contracts
into itself, slinks off, slips
further down the drain, sinks
further down the wall
outside the clinic,
the infected needle
blocking the stoma
of the future
with a crusty pus.
The sleeper juts
a canine up
through the gum
without meaning to,
and an answering moon
orbiting Jupiter
winks back
a salt signature,
betrays a vein of water
asleep beneath the frozen strata
whereunto a white-clad
nurse or rover soon will sink 
a toothed cannula
to draw it off
How complete
ly she circumvents
the eye of the needle
how completely she bypasses
that camel-route
to Heaven as she
drains away
for human use
the plasma and the data

Joyelle McSweeney, "Adriaen het Kint." Copyright © 2017 by Joyelle McSweeney. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.
Source: PoetryNow (2017)
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