Vertigo

After Hieronymus Bosch, “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” triptych right panel

But all dark notes are dismantled

there from the middle ear

downward. Voyaged mind, cauldron skin.

Can you claim anything is yours?

The burning salt hour

throws its black broken-glass frame skyward.

Left behind

the mum orchestra, body parts in peril

and animals dizzy for

lust past all lost

astronomy and wipeout,

this naked edible overjoy, a kind

of suicide in syllables, fifth

panic, fourth stall’s birds-fermata, this

half ocean’s susurrus is coming over us in the picture.

Can you akin? Can you

hear it, pinned to the unseasonable underearth,

an option for music and water

constantly changing shape, an answer

in dissonance? To hear desire

is to wake yourself inside, upturned,

long enough to know

tomorrow is exile. Chaos, body harp,

and painted butt music, crowd-crawl, rose

crowned to the chest, rabbit

call and playing cards    ...    listen,

I’m hell-humming in

your direction, giddy, I am too taken

to leave it alone, the will

locked in as if it is already

inside of me now: to fall.

Let’s be clear,

my darling, in the reeling

crave, spilled gut-platter

of enclosed bones, in

the final flesh-clean drop, it sounds

like fire rising

with the cliff’s updraft.

More Poems by Elena Karina Byrne