in Texas, the thick nights. Sidewalks as the dusk darkens,
the highway’s streaking lights.
Some people are always in a hurry, beautifully—
some stop to tilt their heads
at a cloud or strange sound.
You know the way some people belong
so much to one another
they seem not to notice one another.
Even though I’d hardly noticed you
I let my eyes be stopped by you.
What I felt in my hands was an easy fire, almost
effortless. But what did I feel
in my arms. Sun
rushing through weeds.
What cuts through your eyes are dry blues and sloping lines,
like a woman’s back
as she reaches for a glass of water.
You spend a morning before the canvas, casting space.
How have you reached this point in your life.
You live in a whole world, with a tangled garden
and a sense of time.
The hazards held a little at bay.
Sometimes you ask yourself questions you cannot
answer. You dwell there too long.
You know some people seem to ask for nothing—
not years, not even words. But they are asking.
Shadowless, your paintings tense with red, ghostlines of skin,
a longing so spare I couldn’t
imagine it ending. I would wrap
a thin evening coat around my shoulders
and step out with you
The aquifer below us very still, the black trees
in the park. Insects
buzzing low to the ground.
To stand next to your body without puzzlement or distrust,
smell of dry grass,
the cells of daylight in a leaf, the drop
of a hand—you brought your hand
to my face and grasped my neck,
metallic—playful and senseless.
You know how things we didn’t bother to say
have now taken up a space that extends
out. The sun returns.
A jolt in the muscle, a loss,
but you’ve been through it before.
Cool afternoons in October you spend by the window.
habit. A faint splash of leaves.
And each nightlong hunger.
Each small song, whose darkness
will one day be complete.