Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Greyhound to Olympia

Even at that turn -- the sway of the bus
nudging your head onto my shoulder,
and your hair spilling, spilling on my collar,
the dime of your nipple printing on my ribs,
the sleepy push of your denimed thigh on mine,
the turnoff to Port Angeles snaking into darkness,
the flares of light streaking forward, while the lit sign
vanished behind us -- even then I knew
that this moment of intolerable sadness
would rise in an accusing shape: that some day
a poem or a painting or a gesture would
revise or revisit, confuse or erase
the tickle of your breath's fingers in my beard,
the unformed sound, the catch in the throat
lost to the ear in the rumbling judder of tires
on cracked pavement, but felt in
the tuning fork of the sternum. Even
as I longed to be home, I longed for time
to surrender, just this once, to fold back
that night-time rush onto itself;
I longed for this poem never to be born.

5 comments:

alembic said...

Make me think of all the Cavafy poems I loved for their haunting evocation of desire and the vivid resurrection of absences. OK, it's just a fancy way of saying that I like the poem. :)

Dick said...

I'm thinking Neruda. But only a breath. The voice is yours, Dale, and in fine and moving form.

Jayne said...

I became lost in this poem, and the tender healing by its birth. I'm thinking: only Dale.

caroleesherwood.com said...

it made me hold my breath.

Annotated Margins said...

"Tuning fork of the sternum"... I like that.