I have known the
richest scent of life.
With beautiful eyes,
I have seen
every last beautiful thing.
Is there no part of my body
that does not sing
I am sated,
the way the cicada does
just before she dies?
I am exhausted, can’t you see it,
How my eyes are so ripe with lassitude,
And you call them beautiful.
What is yet unborn wells up in me
And disturbs the symmetry of my charm.
And you think I have become so secretive,
But what could I now say?
The things that I fashion grow so frightening,
And speak on my behalf with
And see my hand,
What you once so fondly called
The coil of my creation,
See how monstrous it has grown,
And it already shapes my famed madness,
And it is as though I was no more than hand,
Brutal instrument of my genius
That would one day smother us.
But then you remember my lips,
Which have always been so childlike,
A sensuality wholly reserved for me alone
And waiting to break.
With full surety that air
And movement never fail,
Clasps my waist.
As if you knew that
I had finally surrendered,
Pressed to my neck,
Which already ever so lightly
And as if to assert that this
Dance should be anchored
In known things;
Turn, rhythm, embrace,
The dominant and subordinate one,
You pull back my loosening grip.
But notice how,
Like one who nonchalantly
Throws off her dress,
I have already abandoned equilibrium.
Headlong we will fall
In a chaos of unraveling distances;
Only then will I see what lies
Behind your poise.
You were cruel to leave me alone,
With only my hands, and
Only my art.
In your absence I turned the chisel
Against my own longing,
My despair entered this stone,
And like nerve pulling at nerve
I retrieved your impossible, naked
Soul from its guts.
See how your shoulders arch here,
Where the light becomes sharp and unforgiving,
This is where I first cut my heart out
With your touch.
And here, where your hair plunges
Like a leviathan of caresses,
Down into the unhewn rock,
Here my belief in the separateness
Of our bodies finally fails.
I am curled into every curve,
And surge and retreat of your terrible absence.
When you return, you
Will discover I have gone quite mad.
Night after night in my atelier
I have disemboweled myself,
A dozen new figures to worship your savagery.
Sometimes in your hair a wind of love dwells.
It rises at street corners,
or in morning gardens hurt by the rising sun.
Sometimes on the breeze
I smell you before I arrive at your chipped red door,
scent of dinner for two, baked sweet potatoes,
scones with cream and jam,
the things you make from the songs you hum to yourself;
out of these your soul wafts
through this drunken garden to me.
The summer is in your dress as you turn in the window,
the sky is in your eyes,
sky overflowing with a bouquet of cranes,
And your world is in your embrace as I cross the threshold,
as I press myself to your impermanence,
and it is lighter than any migration,
than any wing, or moth, or mantis.
Sometimes in your hair a wind of love dwells,
and I seek it out with kisses,
which I plant like little assassins on your agile neck.
So, you’ve packed your things
and you’re ready to go.
On a little leaf folded into a dinghy,
you set off on a great, wild wind.
It’s all too big for you,
for me alone, I fear.
You’ll smash to pieces
on some calamitous street,
or a handsome hotel drifter
will hold you tight,
and on some cheap and neon night,
ruin your pretty little feet.
I’ll read about it in the paper,
and lose my appetite,
and my day will retreat into its room
and never speak to me again.
But that’s okay,
because if I’m honest,
you’re more like the apricot’s hard core
leaping on a tide of world.
I’ll never see you again,
that’s for sure,
but you’ll grow sweeter in my mouth,
with a sweetness that is sad.
And like me,
the lovers of all your hours,
bewitched and inconsolable,
will break their lips on your dark pip.
I afflict you with a mutinous night,
I brand you with it’s terrible star.
You, so well put together and kept like a tower,
see how what you were recoils in terror
from your face of besieged pleasures.
I give you my primitive loam.
You shed your name, your eyes.
I reveal my swift skin
that loves the continents of your young body.
You sense a loss of homeland.
I want you to realize, my darling,
what this mutinous night is for,
exhaust this blue wick of sadness.
I want you to cherish
the extent of our desolation,
while you and I are nothing more than
forehead, breast and nape,
entwined in a void of love.