When continents settle, slumping
back to back, mountain ranges rise in violence and distress.
Did India mean the Himalayas? Should it have known better?
Or was it Asia's fault, standing in the fairway and gawking at the view?
Still, a whisper and a feathery touch behind the knees
tells me I am not out of the woods. Whose woods these are --
well, that would be telling, now, wouldn't it? The right road lost:
and mid way was a long long time ago.
Again. Heave up the carcass for another flense:
waste not want not. I have not explained the multiplicities
and variances carefully enough. No one measures
properly these days. Even my old and scattered notes make clear
that loving you could not be helped: not Archimedes' steering oar
could have have turned this sub- and rich and deep-spiced
-continent aside. There is such a thing
Whosoever hath -- to him shall be given. Says so in the Bible.
Who am I to question holy writ? If I seize your wrist, if I scrape
my teeth against your palm as if it were the buttered leaf
of an artichoke, and find the space between your fingers with my tongue,
then it was written so. But that's to register as fate
the most contingent thing, the matter most free,
in all my life so far. The mountains stand white against the sky:
they could have been otherwise. I could not have been.
If I am not right, then am I wicked? Or mortally confused?
I walk the more surefooted in this blind dark
than ever I stepped in the sun. I have your hand for guidance.
When I press it to my ribs, my heart knocks against it,
and we walk under fir branches under the stars
under the weight of time.