The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.
If you have any patience left, we know what to do.
If you love sleep, we’ll tear you away.
If you change into a mountain, we’ll melt you.
If you become an ocean, we’ll drain you.
I’m here by the gate.
Maybe you’ll throw open a door and call.
I’m drenched with being here,
rambling drunk. Things dissolve around me,
but I’m still sitting here.
One clap in the emptiness of space. New centuries begin.
Laughter. A rose, a wise loveliness, the sun
coming out brilliantly, on horseback.
All this day we’ll be close, drinking and joking
close to your face. Whenever I say your face
my soul jumps out of its skin!
Is there some other roof somewhere? Any name
other than yours? Any glass of wine other than this
you lift to my lips?
If I find my life, I’ll never let go,
holding and twisting the cloth of your coat,
as in that dream when I saw you.
By this gate kings are waiting with me.
Your eyes, I’m lost remembering your eyes.
Look at us out here moaning with our shirts ripped open.
Anyone who sees your face and is not obsessed
is as cold as a rock in the ground.
What further curse could I put on him?
What’s worse than having no word from you?
Don’t waste your life with those who don’t see you.
Stay with us. We’re each running across the beach,
torn loose from friends, making love to the sea.
One flood moves in its sleep. One’s confused
out of its channel. One says Collapse in worship.
Another, No strength but yours.
You are sunlight and free wine for the poor.
A rose looks up and the calyx rips open.
The lute player with quick fingers sees your hands
and stops to close her eyes.
Who is the luckiest in this whole orchestra? The reed.
Its mouth touches your lips to come alive.
All reeds, sugarcane especially, think only
of this chance.
Without you the instruments would die.
One sits close beside you. Another takes a long kiss.
The tambourine begs touch my skin so I can be myself.
Let me feel you enter each limb bone by bone,
that what died last night can be whole today.
Why live some soberer way and feel you ebbing out?
I won’t do it.
Either give me wine or leave me alone,
now that I know how it is
to be with you in a constant conversation.
Your face is the light in here that makes
my arms full of gentleness.
The beginning of a month-long holiday, the disc
of the full moon, the shade of your hair,
these draw me in. I dive
into the deep pool of a mountain river,
folded into union,
as the split-second when the bat meets the ball,
and there is one cry between us.