It and Thou
At first, the world swung into view
Slowly: the carefully-chosen Côte Rôtie,
Rothko’s deep rapture art, nights
Of pool at the Hungarian bar,
Drinking Dreher Pils and betting millions
With each other and neighbors,
Foreigners true, but possibilities all the same.
I was, deep down, in a hurry, of course,
Stumbling awkwardly without transitions,
Moving from shy kisses to haggard intercourse,
The uneaten steaks dulling Hoboken’s air.
Perhaps I should have analyzed more, taken
Apart the rigid clocks that coerced, met
With greater caution our wedding day,
Then house, son, divorce.
All beauty advances backwardly
As dismal minutes politely cry, no more.
Last night in a dark dream
I was carried forth by a timeless horse
Standing in a stream, our legs
Streaked with brown sand. My hands
Were cupped gingerly over her mane.
I have grown accustomed to these images.
I travel without consummation between two points
On a narrow line, like a wounded wolf.
Through the years, calm winds
Stuck by me, steering me towards bystander
Status, excusing my vacillations.
Anagrams and French hourglasses piled up
In my sunlit room: starting over
Was likelier for other brooding husbands.
Here and now, the clouds are thinner, blacker,
And I am without home: She was my width,
My grace, my remedy. I will depart
This untrue terrain, and eavesdrop
On misreadings and timid praise
Whispered at my service: “He really said that?”
“He wanted to be who when he grew up?”
I will be among the last to leave: There
Is much straightening up after a funeral.
Bills have to be totaled, the marching
Ants have to be led back downward.
We will throw everything into one vast bag,
And I will step in and smoke a final cigar.
I will become quiet, like the moment
After a pony breaks his leg near the finish.
And when God finally shows up, I’ll tell
Him it’s fifty years too late. I already
Have met my maker—my sweet son—and
I’ll watch as those two bastards sift
The endless translucent debris.
No one thing is quite all blue.
No one person is younger than I.