In the spring the uncertain sun stepped
down and shook us awake. My body
was pinioned in bright sleeplessness
Praying that my thoughts should catch
in the soft hollow where
words and pictures burn like a match’s
black-scalloped lick across them
Dipping like a hunting bird
towards it feeling the relinquishing slide
ending always unfeathered,
bobbing back into silver night, scenery
slipping back into the skull.
By summer I thought of it as a hawk
oil-black talons and feathers sharp
as if painted, and under the talons there
a small bird broken with black wounds
sprayed across the breast
a white breast and a spreading dark
wrenched out of flight and here brought
to the particular beauty of a dying bird.
Around the seeping black
of the hurt spots the days catch and flow
the clear light waters learning
to be afraid of black.
Shouts of pleasure and our silence form
the strummed song of the afternoon.
We have turned the sack of our talk inside out
in the unhappy search for its square root
and sit happily amid our broken arithmetic.
We are staring into a blue bowl
which encircles the liquid evening light,
we dip in our arms and splash our faces
until they are golden and shining. Our eyes
are brimming with light
I can step over
the flaming grass into your cool indigo
and twist like a fish through a dappled pool
of dream-stained inks and drowning shadows,
the disintegrating faces of the formerly loved.
I can try on the strange geometry of your body
from the inside, pressing palms to the curve
of your skull, feet into the soft untanned
leather of yours and swell like a corpse
with fluid love