And always it is this Gift-giver, this woman from the other side of midnight, this darkness that is not taken from. And she comes in pieces, trajectories, soft angles and planes, curves from a world galore I look for in this, her classroom of touch, taste, and sleek terrors wherein she says, Hello, Two-Dream Tommy, here are dimensions of a barrier, the two roads you must take one at a time if you’re meeting me and getting crushed that side of midnight. Oh, is she north of me or south, breathing yet or not, an image impossible to see, yet I would bet on her on either road I find. Lo, I speak out to her and dream of her, spraddled, urgent, these two parts of unspeakable darkness. Do they have to mean or what become?
It is more than geography hugging me, but what deliciousness in the wind in January, trees stripped to the rawest dimensions, oh bare bark that’s borne. On edges of this electric road, crows by dozens the only intruders in full dress shadows, a three-day-old snow crusting to gray, three marvelous, mysterious wires hanging as if they knot ships together at low tide, weighted with more than a sense of ice, sing a song through the keen teeth of a day going down to its knees in her own perfection. Absolve me, love.
The song is in your mouth, the notes are mine.
The last prayer is for you turning away from me, the host of imagery found on a forgotten road, your eyes shadows of a ditch done with digging, your mouth one dead tree in the morning light, your skin high on each cheek tired as the fields beyond, angles of hands and fingers distraught as roots from an old pine scratching for life less than an inch deep in soil, where odors bury themselves in mere cosmetic measure, softest gesture.
The song is wolfish, high pitched, remnant at odds in the pack. Roadside strands, thick as old hawsers, carrying theater lights, marquees alphabet-bright in upper case, library lamps under which notes are passed, the grocer’s late display behind a six-foot window, fire alarms and call boxes with blue lights like taillights of a ’51 Ford, carry on how divas do their derring-do, octave and platform above all else, the song that’s in your mouth, the notes are mine.
I remember you before, the dawn coming up in hazel eyes after we had buried ourselves, your hands heavy as chocolate, how you walked your willingness about me in morning’s parade throwing remembrance out-ward, residues falling off your fond lip the way a petal bleeds spring, sweet Scheherazade or salty Salome, love’s finer fingertips out on their endless parades, fiery fluids finding such fingernails, and crusting up unobstructed an artless elevation of rare dominion, oh, that music’s mound of insurmountable support, and your bone-fed field, stable of all the symmetries.
Are they heard downhill, flat side, down where this strange road ends, or begins, a dynamo bellied into earth the way a bear buries in all winter, this old man writing a journal just past his latest midnight? These songs you sing, these notes of mine not for grocers or ticket takers or lovers embattled by scented, pressing time. Even bears are spared this wizardry, of songs the wind owns at lips of wires, arias heaved offstage from spider webs slung between Erector-set steel skeletons like lapsed and forgotten messages along the road, or compliments remembered in the quiet hours between places lit up with odors. Thin-mil songs, wired notes stretched out in steel and nervous alloys, high-minded and high winded, humming the universe and music of the sphere, falsetto, bird level, dog-sharpened, I swear they transcend all insulation technicalities.
All things folded into you, diameter of skirt, pickets of pleats in a circular fence, and a gate you opened into the reservoir of your soul, silence a gasp at my thumb clutch, my fingers locked upon the mound. Sunday morning there is a zoo with an empty bench and a tree calcium white and a skin of iron and blue feathers in the air thick as snow. My hand reaching one hundred feet of asphalt to touch one breast you jettison for me into the trimmed holy air after Mass after kneeling and saying my name under your breath and the commands, arch’s silent and oft commands;
How you do that again and again. When you’re young and shadowy, alone in a lakeside summer camp, wind through a midnight screen, rain its brazen complement, belong in the same irreverent choir; voice sharpening the wind itself, honing to a point those cold stridors, the caterwauling rigid metal ribbons exhaust upon charitable and dark rivers of air, another place of shadows along these shaded roads, where you’ve left less than madness but your music, the notes are mine.
Monday is a day full of sin. The taut white skin of you comes at me like balloons. I am afraid I will explode if I touch again fragile air pockets you have made of breasts. It is as if your left breast is an anchor that I should grasp, the right a mooring for my travels, the dark desperation legs enfold is a ghost beating itself into my mind, a facsimile of abandonment, a deep and ever-intriguing retreat, a thing nearly as paramount as you, or more, the way you measure out degrees.
Now and then, orchestrated dull and basso cantante, a tower vibrates and threatens to topple, its wired voices plunging with roots and footings where trees empty their emptiness. The last sound made, the ultimatum investing the lolling cables, is unheard, the lovely notes lost in the endless void of mind, the song that’s in your mouth, the notes I lose.
I end myself up buried not in your leg warmth but in Tuesday night’s dream. Your hips assail me, you hands implore, there are angles present in shadows. From what sea does this dampness come and abide, what evolution turns your saline chemistry to this, bids me bury my mouth alive, the libretto moving me onward and outward?: Now you know what I love.
I walk here between the songs, watching rabbits, sleek on snow, whitened for the last resort, paddle-footed, snow-shoed for their abrupt run at living, alerted of a hawk tasting them from thermal undertakings, and find myself ready for the noisy adjectives wires spill overboard, seeing the fork out in front of me, seeking.
There is a curse at your fingertips. I swear I am taken. The far away rivers, mountains melting, dams letting loose an absolute awe, accord their dulcet undertones. There is a curse at your fingertips. I swear I am taken by the weight you bear upon me. Oh, love, on your knees, absolve me.