When the Black Lotus Blooms
Last night, I walked on water,
treading lightly atop the reflecting pool
that reaches back into my brain...
And where the ripples of each footstep
lapped against the grey, stone-cold edges,
dark flowers, like lilies of twilight,
bobbed open with the nudge of my waves...
What sandman splendor should I then behold
but when the black lotus blooms...
Petals of ebon set themselves adrift,
a flotilla of cat's ears about my feet...
Kneeling on the waters where I stood,
I picked a piece of nightmare blossom
and crushed the wet, velvet wafer
in the press of my palate and tongue...
Its wine, as white as diamonds
and cold like summit winds on snow,
greeted every tasting member of my mouth,
sterling plated on my every vivid nerve...
Colors stippled themselves on my eyes,
resolving into garish freeze-frames,
each one a paralyzed portrait of horror
stolen from my heart's own hidden cellar...
Fearful, I spat out the tooth-torn remnant
of that hell-born, thanatoxic plant,
choking 'til I slipped underneath the water
and the weight of a heavier sleep...
About the Poem
This poem was inspired in part by a dream I had. Like many people, I've had dreams in which I can do extraordinary things, such as fly. I've only had one dream like this one, in which I walked on water.
This poem was originally published in the chapbook When the Black Lotus Blooms (1988, Black Lotus Press).