Thursday, March 03, 2005



Manners forbid, or should forbid,

that I write about secret

pleasures, the end of the day and alone, you

in a dark home, lamps and wine

burning together. If there is music,

it thrums like wires in a wall,

and if there is no music, the distant cars hum

a traveling song. And this

is the moment to which my mind

sings: you putting aside the phone

and your hands performing

the perfunctory unclasping of your plain bra.

In that breath, the day’s true

end and in that end, the night

opening up like an orchid’s moon-rapt face.

And wherever you settle

like this darkness

or these night-inked clouds—

on a swaybacked couch,

on a broken-slatted bed,

wherever you rest

there is a naked ease. Even

in the water of your ancient

tub, lead walled, claw-footed,

like the one launched a mile

outside Pompeii’s walls

on that last day, even

in that body of water your body

resists history, resists a final telling.

Forgive me each word.

All that was yours, I imagined was mine.