I WISH I KNEW YOU WELL ENOUGH TO SAY
I wish I knew you well enough to say
everything there is to say, one heart to another.
I wish I had the art to write this poem in stone like a glacier.
Write it in blood and honey and snow.
Write it in moonlight on the water,
in the sands of sidereal deserts
where the wind doesn’t sing
as if it’s the larynx in the throat of an hourglass.
It’s a hair breadth between seasoned wariness
when you’re on hallowed ground and those
who are scared to death of what it all means
and will discipline their fear into any kind of obedience,
give it all up just to make it go away.
Sometimes you’ve got to break a taboo
to get to the blessing, risk the dragon’s teeth
to get to the golden fleece, or as Coleridge said
imagination is obedient to laws of its own origination
and in a poet’s case, that’s inspiration.
And that’s the way space gets bent
like the nightsky of my third eye
whenever I’m around you like a distant shepherd moon
that’s got life on it, for sure, but prefers
to keep it as secret as solitude in a locket of rain.
Inflammable waterlilies blooming in methane.
A theft of fire that burns sweeter than the proceeds of crime.
Orpheus is trying to prophecy using his own skull
that he could probably get used to a lot of the same music
you like and if he were ever called upon
to go down into hell again before your eyes
got used to the dark and the darkness showed you its jewels,
I’d be able to break my heart like the wishbone of a harp
for someone like you to follow me up out of death
without looking back on the black lustre of oblivion
that has made us both feel at times,
like moonset in a tarpit that will perfectly
preserve our bones, if nothing else, so
the future can tell by the fang marks
what pierced us through the heart
like crescent moons into voodoo,
baring their canines like toxic dinosaurs
so we both look like we’ve been carved on
like a calendar of scars and Mayan dream grammars.
You’re the kind of lens that brings chaos into focus
You can weave a wavelength into
a beautifully disciplined flying carpet
and have it all intertwined like a wild grape vine
on a trellis putting flesh on a skeleton
that thirsts for wine from your heart well.
I may be the inspired in this, but you’re
the lunar inspiratrix, creative matrix,
a shape of space that teaches matter how to move
in orbit around you, even from this distance
where my solitude is urgent with ancient mysteries
to lift the veils as if I were worthy of being no one
and the dark queen doesn’t turn her face
toward the stranger at the stargate in Orion
for nothing. Sex and death are old bedmates,
but life always comes like a vestal virgin
or a sacred whore to these affairs and the stars,
who knows what they’ve seen in their time,
but whatever it was, or is, or will be,
they still shine, and the shining’s always new.
You may have your occultations, but I can see
the same thing in you as I do in the Pleiades.
Hot, bright, mystic fire in a blue negligee of light
as if you’d left your breath on a cold nightsky
and the windowpane of space I was looking at it through
like a smudge of radiance, the first wildflower
in my field of view for light years that have left
the present so far behind me I’m catching up to my past,
one warm breath, and I begin to melt
like a chandelier of icicles in a summer storm.
The stick arms of a snowman are covered in apple bloom.
Visions are greened again from the stem cells
of the crumbs of my dreams I rubbed from my eyes
when I began to believe they were seeing things
from the wrong end of a telescope that stood things on its head.
Now I know when I feel homelessly lost upon the earth,
even in exile, I’m rooted firmly in the sky as you are,
and if I’m not weeding the constellations
in secret gardens where the gates open
at the same time as these flowers in my eyes
it’s just because of the way I can empathize
with their plight, and heretic I can’t help being,
show some timely respect for the pariahs
burning at the same stake that I am for flaws
I indict myself of whenever Venus on a moonless night
casts me down like a shadow of love on the snow
and I take it as a sign of a woman I want to know.