If my life a bath
well you do the math,
all the water you would displace.
My heart would rise
buoyant with its size
each time I’ve seen your face.
“Give me a lever large
and the world I’ll dislodge,”
once said a man very clever.
My world ‘tis you;
the things I could do,
if my love ‘twere such a lever
If lovers and levers
and all their endeavours
Have failed, then so shall I too.
We two shall soon part,
but with fulcrum, my heart,
I wish my words would move you.
My love is a river running low,
and she an antelope pack
come to drink at our friendship’s flow
not seeing the croc there lying flat,
nor the spines of his famished back.
she lowers the neck of one of her does.
Unnoticed, it drags her down by her nap
and rolls over to consume her below.
Her herd’s bull doesn’t know
of the loss of hooves and snouts,
so returns each summer’s drought.
And if in some vague thanks,
wades out to stream from the bank
looks into the murk and lows.
I drift off from writing and sit on my hands
admiring how the colour of the carpet
is not at all the colour of any part of you.
Admiring, how that among these book
none are named “you” or “her”
makes me think how few books I have.
In the course of a day, even elevators
reflect some part of you closed to me.
And if luck would have us pass by,
your eyes in the sky distract me from you.
At dinner, in some bricked confines
of laqcquered wood and human comfort
you sit maharaja with your “beaux”
and I wonder, is there a space between
Lips on glasses, fingers at napkins,
or between fork and tooth
where a thought of me can slip through,
and you remember for a moment I exist.
And would that were a consolation to my long days.
Steam rises from coffee. Through it she wafts in,
A winter wind at her coattails. It condenses on the brim
and at my lips the dew combines with the drink.
How minutely must this drop affect its heat, and yet
the zeroth law of thermodynamics guarantees it.
I cannot tell you which law ensures that each time
she enters in, my glasses are invariably fogged.
Each day, she is but a drop in the bucket.
Call me a homeopath, but her dew sustains.
What first drew me to her was a noble mien
not submitting to her baser being.
Her mind and soul surpass my own,
and my admiration waned to envy.
From her pen-holding hand,
fell words of loft and import.
The laurel I wreathed her in,
it withered and shattered.
Bitter chaw filled her mouth,
and carelessness crept her feet.
She fell to Earth,
and though this placed her body at hand,
who wants an Earthly thing?
Six thousand years, this body remains
As one, unchanged. The love that bound
Isaac, left a bloodied ewe on the altar,
and so bound the parts to one body.
The covenant of love reigning in the land,
Forged of the same love that bound Israel,
Burned Egypt and razed Constantinople.
This body moves with that same zeal.
God is at its head, and God is love.
To love is His greatest commandment,
But love is old. Love once crucified.
This body is old enough to remember.
My body too is old. It remembers.
Love is at my head, you on the altar.
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?
Oh, your thighs
But they are
as the poles of the earth
that there is
I understand because
I am too.
Each of us exists separate and alone.
This is your Spring,
your precious time
Will you be with me?
The touch of your skin reminds me
That within you is Paradise.
I know that Heaven lies at the back of your Throat,
And indeed Elysium spreads forth from your Loins,
That Eden takes root in your Rectum.
I know the bones that prop up your humanity
Can yet be purposed to pleasure me,
That the muscles that ache from your living
Can spring forth to spill my joy,
That the places you mediate with sustenance
You may take me in to sustain my needs.
All this comes to me at a touch
That this consort of papillae,
Though it may slave at your base requirements,
Is an act of rare grace in this universe,
And within you is Paradise.