Bucolic I

Tityrus lounges in the shade,
Bees lullaby the sleepy glade,
The reed sings soft, soft as the grass—
Then Meliboeus comes to pass,
Sour Meliboeus and his goats,
Their grumblings putting ends to oats.
         Thus always when one feels pastoral
         Comes some exile with his quarrel.


echo with the ghosts
of almost wholly-lost
                            but for them
                            nothing remains
                                         at all—nothing
              words hold
though only airily
              the fragile bones
of yesterday
                           loose as breath
                           but holding yet
                                          and tightening


[frame by frame]
I have pieced you together from glimpses
[the swollen black pools of your eyes]
A doll sewn up by candlelight alive
[tumbles of thready hair]
A black-and-white stop-motion film
[your chalk-white back]
Gaps filled in by fancy
[shadows of limbs]
Holes resonating with the peal of ragged breath
[your rising waist]
And the chainlink clinking of a heavying heart
[your fingers delicate on dimpled skin,
the fruitful fullness of your lonesome chin,
the round foundation of your lip-loved cheek,
the turning of your shoulder from your neck]