One must live in the present, you said, looking
back, the flecked fins of river cutting
the blue air in your hair, and
when the wind drew up,
black rain from the silver clouds.
June, maybe July, I suppose, longer than a year,
though, driving upriver along the Nith
time doesn’t pass, you say to myself —
There’s no way to hold,
regardless of the knuckled white upon the wheel,
how firmly the bodies, our waterskins, are held.
There’s only the river.
There’s only the green squadrons of clouds
dropping from the sky, changing shape as they near,
into the tall cedars.
ph – 6/8/15 Wellesley, Ontario
I remember when I was Jesus.
You made yourself naked for me,
and we fucked
under one window.
And there was a tree
And above that something
climbing from the sky.
You laughed when I said, I loved you,
Turned your face like the moon,
betraying only, it seemed, shyness.
I thought of the loaf of bread
swimming in the oven glass,
and I saw as your mouth puffed
with its body, torn
with your pure, white teeth.
I listened as you walked below,
from the cold cellar to the furnace room,
to the garage, down the street
to the bus stop, then to the sound
of the empty street the bus left behind.
Forgive me. it was me
who groped your breasts,
as if stabbing you.
And, on your cool desert skin,
I may have wept.
I write to you as though you are a desolate bird whose soul has not yet jigged itself from the air boats braid it to. And through their wake, we are tangled and knotted and empty buoys that seem to boil the city and we drive by the shores of mansions foaming from the ground; giant insects whose naked muteness slowly dilates into the sky. I see that you want to be here, with the rest of us, though your smallness resembles the speckled, floating-away dandelions of fish, and the high, thin lined thoughts of birds, and places, so dotted in destination, I cannot give. Therefore, what else can worthlessness offer but worthlessness in a beautiful stone, as always been done:
The heart is the bottom of a well
and the rain dreams of a thousand arrows
filling a cup you pour for me,
Your lips begin to say nothing
I’d like to live with you
In the valley northwest of town,
Between pines rising
And falling to the river.
And the things the stones say
To the river passing through.
And in the valley where we live—
The thin light
Of mornings pour down through branches
Like creeks that flood into our house.
And sometimes, afternoons, from the small kitchen,
You sing by the window.
And your voice floats at the windows.
And if you didn’t love me, I wouldn’t mind.
– After M. T.