from Love, an Index
Abandon, what I did when you touched me
that winter with an ungloved hand.
Ache, the heal of broken things: bones, disappointments.
of Love, Fragonard’s babycolored paintings,
Ovid’s pursuers and storied looms, his Atalanta
her golden balls. The longing to know
how things become what they weren’t always.
of Death, skulls, as in depictions of the penitent
Magdalene. What should knowing we’ll die
elicit? What does salvation have to do
with being safe?
Angelbones, you alone
have them. Where the wings came off. Where the wings belong.
Brooklyn, its winding stair reminding me
of Yeats: “all men rise to greatness by..”
A bicycle chained there.
South Dakota, we gave your son the only bedroom,
woke early to salted baguette and snow.
Salt Lake City, a porch ghost, a view
of the valley’s glittering grid, my sister, your
poor broken friend, we grilled squid
on the Smokey Joe. Tripod. Carpet. Halloween.
Laramie, a basement, a stoveless kitchen,
toaster-roasted eggplant, baseboard
heat and sex in woolen socks.
Rome, 5B, stone floors, white kitchen, white as the madness
I felt there, a bed that was twin beds held
together with so much duct tape, always
suggesting itself as metaphor;
yours, with your father maybe, me maybe.
mine, with you for finding expression of it
towards my family instead; there are other ways
of telling the story of our two angers, entwined
like bodies in the act of love. But in this one
I am not a villain.
the “Short Talks” from Plainwater, poolside
in Greece during an Easter Parade, clanking
in doorways for ouzo and bread;
The Autobiography of Red, in which Geryon
understood that people need
acts of attention from each other.
Attention (see also: Anne Carson)
“Geryon understood that people need acts of attention from each other.”
code, allows a computer to represent text – b
is "000011110”. L-O-V-E too is a series
of 1’s and 0’s where 0 means “off” and 1 means “on”.
opposition, like presence-absence, male-female, love-
innocence, love-hate, love-longing.
star, two astronomical bodies orbiting each other
so closely they’re lost in each other’s light, and appear as one.
Bogota, city in the Andes surrounded by steep
jungle. We did not fight in Bogota. Beaten
gold. White sanctuary. We love
the Mexican restaurant full of wooden stairs
overlooking vast expanses of Modernist architecture,
colonial plazaslit-up slums. La Candelaria
is home to statues of ghosts, presence of absence.
Carts sell hot corn. We passed a woman
laying on the sidewalk, pregnant a second time –
her belly swelled in half-globes around a dark scar
like a peach around its deep groove. Storytellers
ride the busses, shattered petals and piles of thorns
and broad bruised leaves carpet the lot
where a flower market teems in the day. Sushi
joint. Iranian embassy. A row of buildings trimmed
in tropical flowers and razor wire. Bookstore. We watched
Bollywood dubbed into Spanish on the old-fashioned TV
in your sublet apartment.
Bollywood, where love is an exhuberant fantasy
of song. Many stories stop before they end.
etude. Major keys seem to have to do with light, minor
keys with shadows cast by Major keys.
nocturne, an evocation of watchful owls, shimmer
of satin and violins. Or of a woman at a desk
with a glass of wine, trying to see through
her own reflection in the window.
prelude, an introduction to the silence that follows it.
Comfort, erotic. (Example: Campion, “For when she comes
where comfort is she never will say no.”)
Compromise, I will get up early with you
so long as there is coffee.
about poems, you like “the sound of rice
poured into a pan.” I like the bird
who rings like a wetted wine-glass rim,
and the bird who casts its shadow on the sea. I like
poems, “held between two people, Lucky Pierre-style.”
(See also: Frank O’Hara.) With Coleridge, when done reading
“I rise as though in prayer.” Such poems gather
everything into the now of the poem. I want to gather
everything into the now of this poem, but I can’t.
All is gloss (see also: Gloss).
Coquette, you called me once. Coy, you called me. I am
neither. I am all candor and anxiety. But whatever
I am, I am all for you.
Deadwood, ringing with slot machines. We drank pear wine
in a cheap motel. I said “you take me
to awll the noicest places” in a funny voice because
it wasn’t true yet and I didn’t care. You funny-
voiced me back, “Whaddya want? They got ice
machines, they got HBO, dial up some
va-va-voom.” We laughed. We showered
together and your peppermint soap gave me chills.
Desire, a chord played deep in the bass of the body. It’s good
to feel and to forget.
Divorce, far from a way you thought
you had of thinking of yourself. This story
includes a divorce, which is how I come in.
D.H. Lawrence (see also: Desire), tells us “no, no, it is
the three strange angels – admit them,
Emily, my sister, a wit and when asked what single thing
she’d bring to a desert island, she said: “a yacht.”
Like me, she fears to make mistakes.
Homeric, such as “swift-footed,” even when he’s sitting down,
or perhaps “breaker of horses.” For women, “soft-braided”
or “glancing.” I have some for you, tall man, with your angelbones
and your poppyred birthmark and your soft, soft hands
and all those songs you made. My myth-maker. My great dark man.
Ex-, a prefix meaning “formerly and no more,”
connoting renunciation, affixed
to such nouns as lover and Catholic;
not likely to be placed before certain other
nouns, like sister or “breaker of horse” or bicycle.
Eye (not to be confused with I), in the Middle Ages
(as recounted by Andreas Capellanus) it was thought
impossible to desire anything you’ve never seen, thus
blind could not love. But there are other ways
of paying attention. (See also: Attention)
Author Discusses Poems