(from) Better Than Sleep: Sebah again, and Little Jim

Sebah in a velvet cloak
Comes out to take a look.

Out of the mainstream lifted
(she thinks)
And forever lost: better
Never to have left
The river of life
Best not for him, oh
Why he plucked from the pod
Spotted in the womb
Touched
By the finger of God?

Or (more likely) Look
At the silly sod.

Sebah in a velvet cloak
Out for a breath of air …

Reared in squalid rooms
In the New Medina slums
Without the taste of wealth
She doesn’t mind the filth
Knows well wealth now
In conscious contrast sits
Cloak open on a box, tits
Tipped with spangles shiny
In the bare bulb and oh those

Glossy knees and thighs
Doesn’t mind the flies
Looks at the night sky
Sighs a little sigh, smiles
Smoking a cigarette.

Rouses a tortoise with a toe
Throws me the end of the cigarette
Wet tip red
Playing with the tortoise’s head
Till it rears up hard
Nose nudging at the gold
Ankle chain hard and cold.
I chew the dead fag end
Extracting tongue, lips, hand
Taste till she gets up to go.

Sebah in a velvet cloak
A tortoise taking a look
At a star and flat dead
A crunchy mush, Little Jim. Sad
I scrape it all up and eat
Cafard à la sole of her foot
With the filter and – why not? –
Swallow it.

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