She texts from the seat next to him,
her boredom classic
though, no wonder, a prodigy, apparently,
of the world,
she turns 15 this Sunday, and
dumb and dithering, her dad, who
after nearly 50 years, you’d think
he’d know a thing or two, to round
the number down — nope — though
one thing’s for sure,
she’s the closest stuff to him,
and is betting
before long, like him, she’ll
unearth clay and
roots and shiver to the bone
its springs and inlets, drink
thunder from swaying trees,
unburden leafs and dried-up creeks
the full degree and
the magnitude of earth
She will persist and come to
smile on her own,
at a painting, a tree near a road,
or from words a lover will whisper so
she’ll mistake for a kiss,
She’ll weep, too,
from the same soft-spoken man,
or the skins of ice sighing on a lake,
or a voice from a number
always to forget.
her eyes run through the cattle barns,
the bay mares misting in elm groves,
and her hair golden and damp is
strung out against the glass that
holds the storm
setting down years away
beyond the light on Notre Dame,
but never his love.
He watches her text, her voice
gathering inside her eyes, like his,
as he writes this next to her
with the tongue
of his mind.
He won’t ruin the surprise.
You pretend, that’s all; it feels
close to belief. After all, it
sounds like love
and you, a poet,
supposedly, with an
ear for beauty,
it’s the magic that cuts you in half,
that inspires the ahhh.
You see, the trick is in the approach,
the walking away,
the trick you learn to do
with a mirror,
as you walk
Things seem to find themselves,
where they are.
The city, after nights in the north.
Its whiff of brick and coffee, human.
And the night quietly
silencing us, traffic
fading to a hum, an orange
luster on your cheek,
as you find some reply.
Out for a movie:
the popcorn is salty; the soda cold; I miss you
after you kiss my mouth, lean back on the chair
When we drive back, we pass the
fields, where I’ve seen red foxes hunt.
Sometimes they can be seen at this time
of night, sometimes at dusk
and sometimes later when I wake.
(After David Semanki)
The song that makes you think of me
Drowns out table conversations, a version
Of I. Or, so I imagined, like this,
Transformation’s simplicity. Buddha to the
Forsythia of enlightenment. Water to wine from my
Mouth to yours, when I kissed you a kiss that would bring
Clarity. Conversion, though, seems a capricious affair.
I recall one of your famous dreams now.
An ex-lover of mine visited you as you swam
Along the coastline. You texted to tell me, unable to
Talk, water up to the brim of your lips.
At the Thai restaurant, I’m known for ordering
The same big bowl of soup for ten years. But, things,
As you know, couldn’t be more different.
You whispered to me either,
forgive me, or fuck me, if only
I knew. The door is opened on the
side of the lake. It allows a graphical
study of perspicere. And in the wet air,
we are our damp bodies that came up
together from the borders of the
Shield and charcoal lines of trees that braced
the colour fields of rain, that emptied onto the dark
islands we landed on for deadwood and for
the views back here, before we ourselves returned.
Once I saw Lucian Freud’s painting, ‘And the
Bridegroom’ at a show in Austria.
Intercourse is complete, though the
act itself is not. His penis sprawls into a
thigh and nearby her feet touch, either
steadied to return with him in his withdrawal
from presence to flesh, or as a fulcrum for
the leap away, her hair bound to the attitude
of flight, to preserve their flawed bodies
perfected in a final release.
We forget our other lives
Mostly. All I can tell you, for instance,
Is there was a moment when
I fell in love with you here,
In this other life.
On roots of the Thompson tree
Where I hung the food barrel,
Camouflaged, I suppose, sky-blue,
Your daughter’s rainbow-print boots.
The two dead trees standing in the grass were
I wish you would look away now and take in
the yellow field.