I never name where it is I envision you alive, or if
you are safe in that place, in some random, beat-down-town—
but I imagine it's beautiful. To think of it!
You are but an existence spun in my mind, one which
I can assign
features, a gender,
a wise heart, a longing, a gladness, a part
to play. You are meant to stay, but
I made you mortal; for burning—and this, a sad art
I took up lovingly, self-absorbed, in pain-of-my-being?— forgive me.
Hurt, you transit, aimless apparition in my war-torn streets.
Survey the ashen treasuries of ruin
heaped menacing, around— this is my imagination and you
are fortunate to survive.
If you are fully physical; of God’s own apportioning, I pray you
march out of this fanatical place, ready for me.
I am in love with you. I am in love with you.
Did I ever cross you, by chance?
You are anywhere, now—
solo in the frame of a night bus window; your good face drooped
benevolent to the world, half shadow, half bright.
in the rush hour road, crossing
with the masses who busy my rearview.
The skyline dangles from a noose of cold fog,
people huddle into highways, stoic in their million separate consciences,
'strength in numbers’ they think to a storm sky.
If, by chance, you search, I'm in there too,
swollen in my special colors of losing and loss, one in the cursed patchwork
of shuttered stores, parked cars. One mental, forgotten old fool
is singing bizarre songs to the sidewalk.
Not one person asks what he really knows—
this rain will go on for days.
Twilight, come like a feather.
Rain left its blurry decor like a feather
in the streets. I’m jailed in my picture window, my face is down;
maybe I’m busy with something (busy with nothing, actually).
And later, bedded, thinking of things happening among others—
their inner rooms, the nightbirds are two again; the little lovers
stacked on two or three sides of this room. Without you
I bundle up a few lucid words that come to mind. I’m near sleep;
I’m at the forest line.
And you are out in street corners,
out in lane lines, navigating the fat mileage of this homeland.
Has the yellow-brown bore of center-Kansas been such a plight?
I remember your mind wanting time to breathe... Out in the center,
under the harsh bounties of the un-set sun;
you're hours behind.
Immigrant you pass up field for city, city for field.
I bid you bravery as you pass the abstract obstacles
of the blackened land, come free into my morning.
The front yard will blaze like new Earth. Climb all my steps.
I want to feel you weaken
in my embrace. And we could go in, and learn
with our physique what love so long reserved will cause.
Sunday. It's lonely where I am,
my house is quiet but for children outside
daredevil and pool-diving.
Their laughter assaults the walls, their bodies
the sun just rests on, and rests on torsos of
the few other moody, silent bathers who keep watch
Light flies in the open window to perch
on my arm, makes its odd phases
up the wall and over my face— I am not laughing now.
The air is unbecoming of July;
so weightless, unpolluted— I can see for miles!
The day is too soon done, is a gift given
from autumn’s distant archive. Why,
it’s all trickery; it’s almost cool out, and yet,
months of heat remain and the harvests aren't had,
Earth has only rendered
us heat and finishing this year...
Summer is, no less, wonderful,
my house is quiet— dear,
I’m running out of time—
is it like this where you are?