after a photograph by Allen Ginsberg

Why did they all go to Tangier? Was it some strange stirring
they felt, caught up in their bedsheets at night, a powerful
urge that moved them to grab their things
and take the next steamer bound for Africa?

In Ginsberg’s pictures, they look so relaxed, hanging
out in a courtyard comfortably as drying shirts, all smiles,
they could be any American tourists posing
for a snapshot. I wonder why are there no women.

Is it that only men have the balls? Their meaty
verses rise and sing in spurts of vomit and blood, crazy
sacrifices to the gods, the angels, the hazy dust
they and their poems are going to become.