SURRENDER & TAKLIMAKAN by Russell Steur

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I give you my olives

My tamarisk tree

My body and wine

My fruit and my seed

I give you my heart

My barley and wheat

I yield my bed

Succumb to your arms

I give you my throat

My Damascene gold

Where you lead

I will follow

I give you my water

I give you my earth.

Taklimakan

Do not tempt me

Beloved One

To the scented pleasure

Of your tent tonight.

I do not thirst

For the spill of apricot upon your tongue

The qawwali of your arms

In perfumed gardens of delight.

I seek instead your other paradise

The toxic sands and unforgiving dunes

Of your Taklimakan Shamo bed

That waterless and fatal place

Where those who enter

Never return.

Russell Streur is a born-again dissident residing in Johns Creek, Georgia.  His work has been published in Europe, certain islands and the United States.  He operates the world’s original on-line poetry bar, The Camel Saloon, catering to dromedaries, malcontents and jewels of the world at http://thecamelsaloon.blogspot.com/; and the curator of The Bactrian Room, a journal for bactrians, ghosts and travelers on the Long Silk Road with a story to tell at http://bactrianroom.blogspot.com/.  He cofounded Poets Democracy in 2010 with Christi Kochifos Caceres and is the author of The Muse of Many Names, The Petition to Free Zhu Yufu, and other works.

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