After My Emigration from Guyana to the

United States of America, I Dream of Borges

And here, now, is Borges. His tongue is dancing madly

out his mouth: a dog, rabid and sickly; after all, the man is sick

chanting madly, mother, oh mother as he transcribes

the Quixote on to a mess of papers and rags and bed sheets

drawled in to the one untidy canvas. Borges, his eyes are wrung

in black or brown or whatever color the mind perceives

in the vague dim of a candlelit dream. His madness, still the man

is mad, scrawling savagely on to the canvas in ink and saliva

and sweat pouring from the bandages wrapped around his head.

Borges, his eyes jutting in every direction save this cowardly

shadow bathed in the corner of the candlelit bedroom. And here,

now, is Borges and I fixed in obsession, Borges and I coifed in madness

and bandages about our wounds where skin, once unblemished,

opens out in to the fresh air of a world that could be fiction

making fiction of the worlds we have lost. And Borges, chanting,

mother oh mother, is writing his eyes closed and I move closer,

just as in being closer to another gives comfort, so too am I

comforted by Borges in the now motionless dark of this candlelit

bedroom. Borges, from out my mouth and, still, he moves to die,

and, still, I move closer; clutching his arms. And here, now, am I;

darkness breaking darkness with Borges fading quickly

to my side. Madmen laying still on our backs chanting,

mother oh mother, in the candlelit bedroom, as mad men do,

with our tongues dancing out of our mouths; we dogs, rabid

and sickly; dying unfictioned behind our eyes, closed.

Photo by Suzanne Parker

Ian Khadan was born in Georgetown, Guyana, at the age of 9 he moved with his family to the United States and has since earned a B.A. in English at Rutgers University. He's a co-curator of the weekly Urbana reading series at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. On Libations:

“Nothing makes my day more than a Jameson on the rocks with a Guinness on the side, preferably served with a shamrock etched in the head.”

Ian Khadan