chorus on the origins of his lust

Come, come, we've heard this before.
You think, in this age, anyone cares?
What we really can't forgive is a bore.

You seem to believe in sin
as if you'd been dunked as a boy
in some red-clay river and born again.

This is merely the excellent sophistry
of the age: that, in our sickness,
we can make of our guilt a family,

and instead of the proprietary
influence of stars, Orion
and the Dog snarling overhead,

or the Scorpion raising its tail
on our birth or bridal bed,
we say each disaster that assails

comes simply from the primal
Oedipal, Electric scene:
Father, mother, child in hell.

Or take this second dispensation:
That in the firmament rising
above a boy's masturbation,

the planetary dream of a world
whitened, nightmares of
yellow, dark-skinned hordes,

all fissioned desire, as if nothing
in his nature grew naturally
perverted, lecherous, wild. Your

goatish glint, where did it twinkle?
In the eye of mother? Father?
Or guards in the towers

at Minidoka, Jerome? Nonsense.
Cock, bull, you made these disasters...

--Yes, yes, I acknowledge my own.
back of the book
Bold Type
    Excerpted from The Colors of Desire by David Mura. Copyright © 1995 by David Mura. Excerpted by permission of Anchor Books, an imprint of Doubleday, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Photo Credit: Joyce Ravid