Love Might Utter the Only Verse That Wouldn’t Insult the Dying

With each other, let’s be simple.
Place a blossom on the tongue.

With each other, let’s be ample.
Shut that history without a mark.

Let’s be humbled like all temples.
Fire tugs the air around us.

With each other, let’s not gamble.
Let’s hold back, this time, from Fairness.

A tangled string of keys. And their locks? The ants ignore the stale trap, streaming toward some cryptic sweet.

Don’t sit with me. Don’t let me argue further. Leave me to the ink bottle and the morning mowing men, their necks studded with sweat-fed pimples, barking instructions over full-throttled motors.

Leave me to the stratagems of sinister confessors—self-improvement!

Get on through your best work and forget us until nightfall.

The gladioli droop.
Out they go!
And their murky, malodorous water!

No mourning our transience in theirs
(Sorrow would be inescapable)
Though they nonplussed us,
Blazing in the farmers’ market bin.

Remember when doubting my love for you,
For anything, proved to you
Our passion was intelligent?

Your face withdrew into unbroachable darkness—
As though down a well, or mythic cave—
Yet remained
Untroubled as we spoke.

We must take our nerve elsewhere.

That man on the beach flying the two-inch kite
Pulled from a cigar tube:
He’s our muse.

And that tire tread along the sand
Like the spine of an ancient fish:
A fossil
Until the next wave.

The hour can’t say how it becomes a day, a day a life, those gestures that are ours, not ours to observe only.

Love might countenance our gift, if we have one. We might hold its body in the night and thus the darkness. We might turn around at last and see that this is what the forgotten looks like, though we are not yet forgotten—ever taught, ever groping, crowd of ourselves in the gold wind.

The rose opens to our room tossed by loving.
It forgives us jobs we’ve had to part for.
What does it know about care before clippings?
Beneath the slot, mail sprawls—silence without us.
We’ve caressed the python at the children’s zoo.
We’ve swum in rain, the old us.
We keep our dalliance with perfect solutions.
The rose craves tact, its radical priest
Executed by partisans and resurrected by rhetoric.
We overthrow its piety, overthrowing ourselves.
Who can tell it? We dressed like mortals and drove away.