You are laid out like the sea, flowing hair, undulating waves.
I am seduced by the familiar sounds of your sleep.
I think you are many voices.
I think you are made of rivers and wild lands not travelled.
Like a life not fully lived or a poem stillborn.
Our shadows web in the night light, inconstantly shaped
and wind-blown, the flow of a dream on your face.
A smile floats past.
You have returned to our beginning.
I was your only toy and our love was spacious.
You had the rays of the sun in your eyes, now you hide them.
I think you smell of harvest, the earth in season,
ripening mangoes, glorious grapes, flowering spices,
bountiful evenings, ears of sweet festive corn.
Wish the night had a heart generous like your love,
blooming lilacs and native pleasures,
touched by the purest fluids.
This burdened night, haunted by Freud and friends -
dead Marx, dread Nietzsche, post-everyone and everything...
wish it had a common beat, the simple rhythm of our love
when suddenly you turn and offer everything.
That moment after sleep when you stood
ragged and wonderful like a great Russian novel
or a speech out of history, with your eyes in flight
and my name on your lips, and your life
bloomed under your gown like a new beginning,
rich in breasts, Christianity and familiar motions,
that moment still stands, ragged and wonderful
like a gift of words, as if in you
all the meanings of the world meet and mean one thing.
The play of black birds on a lamp pole
is the defiant day's response to the bleeding of Baghdad.
It's mostly wings where they play and almost light,
the grind of a noisy day approaching.
All that flutter of wings
hangs its hope on a promise of love not won.
We are outdoors and dressed up
but the bedroom is always with us.
We talk baby food and school uniforms,
snacks we hate but buy because our cubs love them.
Out of nowhere come movements, tendons and tendrils,
the spongy specifics of a sea anemone dawn.
The bombs above are heading for Baghdad.
The day ahead is rising with its cares.
We breathe in the junk that hate brings, the black birds and us.
All day at every turn
we bump into the silence of our not speaking.
We take our turns at not speaking
or not listening, we take our turns at silence.
This is not light. This is dark. This is what happens
when the truth leaves its patch to an overgrowth of facts.
And every voice loud, and harmony dead,
and nothing looking like the past when our lives richly crossed
and we lay akimbo willing to be read, classic in all our chapters.
This is not love. This is war. This vial of venom me? This, you?
This is how the end grows on the unwary, in words of hate
and acts of rage, and then the breaking of bonds.