Issue 155, Summer 2000
How do they get so close to the window,
a tree in figment, arithmetic moon?
Summer broke you, winter builds you—
a lofty leafage in the prism, a pure
empire. Where they've ghosted roofs
on the drawings of infants—
because I did leave a letter, small map,
semblance. Tarnish the mirrors,
they will not shield. And wound
this ribbon round my fingertip,
to keep you.
Should it be better, going off, grim-
visaged indigents, tinny, mimic stars?
Two things love a third—hosting a harbor
in the brokenest guitar.
Two things leave a remnant—its sound
and space and silence shrill and wide.
Two things torch a fragment.
When did the moon grow an eye?
I speak from a shameless seance,
a blue-lipped winter that mutters and broods.
I move in a blowsy specter,
a gap-toothed slattern with a curse and a cry.
Let's give the lily a scissor.
Let's smash the cup and saucer,
spill the wine.
She moves, she means, she masters.
She deems, she dooms, she stammers.
Schools, and schemes, and skitters,
rumors, raptures, rathers. She aspires.
She did, she don't, she daren't.
She shall, she shan't, she shouldn't.
Hooped and looped and latent,
she doth, she loathe, she mightn't.
She make, she moan, she silent.
She gave, she grieve, she amn't.
Though intentions erode like the moon,
they are still as ghostly, as noble.
Someday to sing it with champagne and sherry,
in a gauze gown, tonic,
stippled with perfume.
An opera of Edens. A synaptic how-come.
In this boomtown boudoir, baby,
you always wrong.