second letter to Sylvia
poetry's hearth lies dead and almost empty, only ash is there,
snow-grown mountains grope Svea cold
while i as my memory's child open your Ariel,
fleet-winged in New England stall,
and lines trot equine, arrayed brave since my 1972,
nine years after the words died,
that celtic snow then i toddled, fell deep,
for you i cried
while you composed yourself to sweeter sleep with Keats.
and, fresh as maybe yesterday, literate Memoria
ever waits. that unused drawing room
where only i dwelled with forgotten books
the inky stench of love
and "she is dead, then" i pining said.
maculate, your best poses lone,
bigger than any daddy's Frisco seal toe.
bee-lady, keeper of the seals,
misstress of night's black signet,
you gave me then my own dream-stolen bone of glory,
lay for me the table i stole from the house of my enemies,
restless cancer washed by this feckless sea,
your words birthed my need
from grosesse of grief.
a Sexton i toll this breviary's brief knell,
a hymn to her parting day,
from me to you i imagine your potent displeasure as i relinquish,
human her head upon my faithless arm,
the key to the door built only for me
and quit our hearse's driving seat.