it’s taken a long time for you to reach here
I have been waiting

does eternity frighten you
does the sound of hammers on the rocks frighten you

I have been waiting for you
I have wept for you
I have drunk the poison
I have slept in the crematoriums
I have walked through the streets carrying my severed head
and still you would not come

do you think I am mad
is that why you’re afraid
listen to the silence
watch it endure everything
my madness is pure
I created you
and I will destroy you

it’s taken a long time for you to reach here
was your journey hard
did you turn away from the smouldering flesh
did you close your ears to the vultures’ cry

my child
I adore you
come
learn to rejoice in your agony
learn to make death beautiful
watch the smoke trail
across the marbled sky

***********

the burning ghats of Varanasi, India 1969