City at the Country's Still Heart
A city apart, we awaken, you
in your platform bed low as Japanese tables,
there where land has its first thought
of water, I at this high jagged edge.
Hawk-high I peer out over
the city's plain and the chain of
its people rising, their hearts like doors,
doing business, doing business.
This evening I will send for you.
They will come along the street in bright
yellow wagons, in their blue suits, carrying
the warm small birds of my love.
stretched out like an arm
beneath its lights.
forgetting its name in a thousand mouths.
of bodies: moths at the window,
couple walking hand-in-hand in the street below,
my feet at bed's end like two pale tombstones.
sumptuous with your absence.
At 11:01 I listen to Brahms,
drink tea, and wait
to hear from you.
Wellington's Victory ends
at a minute to twelve.
Driving through city lights
and limits, I thought of you
asleep, the long white beach
of your back, dreams
like malformed moons
in whatever sky
vaults above you now.
All battles join at night.
parachutes onto my desk
from the lamp
and charges across,
the first wave of freedom.
and that voice at the door knocking
Locked in this room I see people in command
The noise of the city
congeals like mud on their shoes
Gray pigeons wheel up and scatter into blue-green sky
where it's summer
How many times I think
have I turned back hand
on that door thoughts crowding behind me
on the platform
Turn the handle the tongue falls like a
Now here I am on foot among scattered bags
Taxis ride the plains I whistle at one
to bring it down
Muleskinner and sage
A birch rod dips
toward sacred words Everything's out of
Water? Rain at least
Me with this useless dwarf's crutch I'm trying to sell
There's little demand pawnshops and women
turn me out
here where it's summer
here where everything's out of tune
where I've tried j'ai fait
des gestes blancs parmi les solitudes
Taking out ads in The Voice
Renting billboards Light of communal days
coming out from under
the bushel of years
just to stop but they go on turning
hand sun year