In the beginning love was near androgyny
threatening to unfurl myself,
nerve unkempt, flyleaf hands.
every southern climate and still
there would be Italies to see.
If I pretend you have not changed,
indiscernible as green
from the once bronze, what then.
If I say the season for missing is over,
the wisteria done winding, what I mean is
there will be no thou of me.
It is almost summer in the asylum
By the sea, the room full of dunes
Will be inhabited, twinflowers
Thriving in snow will die here.
Still I came. Once I lived with
the undertaker of an afternoon.
Refusing him, I fed a hell-
Colored stray. She was so particular,
Tongue to my palm, a promise.
Let me be ruined better, let me
Be dreamt by a stranger removing
My hand. I was the wave, was never.
Now I hang my desire, undressed
On the damp terrace, where everyone
Who watches watches privately.
Fever in a Lazaretto
When you pull the white strand
Where nobody parts your hair
You parch awake reaching for salt
The glass too dark for thirst.
A moonflower shutting open
You are almost orphan.
In the room where they say
Only the young roam
You stamp your hooves to loose a god
A kettle whistles for nobody home.
Bat wings pinned to light
Almost fly again in your eye
And the wishes you never
And the others you will
Burn and forget they are burning.
The Headless Woman
Opens Her Sleeve
Where is my California now,
the manic poppies,
the cape made island by fog?
cold with alp and globe thistle.
Would lose my head again
to keep my spine intact,
would seal the throat a while
to feel a little vigor of my tongue.
Speechless, I’d seize the scalpel
and circumscribe a moon.
Kept in the mountain’s thin heaven
by fear of wandering down
toward origin and tide,
in a mantle of snow,
no northern life before,
I last a candle-while.
The Intimacy of Volcanoes
They told me to stay away from the sill
But I raised the pane and slipped one sparrow
Black and shivering into my mouth. I kept it there all evening,
Wetting its wings on my tongue, letting it peck at the vault
Of my throat. I could taste the color of lava,
Contagious and bitter. An hour when light goes
And the room grows a wall and even wood
Becomes restless. It wept in the middle of my mouth.
It sharpened my breath into little teeth
For knowing. It was loveless. And I would not have
Trusted anyone. After, I was thirsty all the time.