Tuesday, February 13, 2007


There is this apology I polish like an apple—
it never goes soft and maybe it never
has left the tree. It will be good forever,
this fruit, this apology, but not forever,
not so long as that. As long as I last,
it will last. In that way, I am delicate and sweet,
full of sun. I am thinking of you,
your head of dark hair, the gray
over which you worry the mirror,
and I'm thinking of the crimes
I would have undertaken to make you
mine. All of them fill me
with rabid glee. Jaywalking
in the name of larceny
and usury and buggery and rolling a bed
down San Francisco streets
or carrying ice cream
in my pocket, though where
that is illegal I can't begin to recall.
I don't care. I'm filling
my jeans with vanilla
and cookie dough
and setting out to be set upon by constabulary
force. I'll apologize
later. First I'll say
that I love you. I will carve
your name in something
dark and varnished,
an antique, because I can't bear timelessness
to go unchallenged
by the simple fact
of you. Some people will tell me
this is a strange idea
on their way to some place
they hate. Look at what you've done,
they'll say, and aren't you
just soaked in shame
and this word in my mouth like an apple
will come falling out
and shining
I'll say I'm sorry I'm not sorry
at all, that's how the machine of love operates,
nobody understands it
the way nobody understands
calculus or Baptists
or vegetarians but that's the way it is
and nothing about the world
is bound to change
very much at all,
not while I am loose in it
carving the silhouette of your breasts
into the table holding
up my breakfast. You should see the likeness.
They who have known
the luck of your breasts
as I have
say words like uncanny or exactly so
or masterwork
and all I can do is smile
and continually plot a new way of making you
naked and mine and here
and married to this lucky world
in which we keep waking
despite the brokenness of it all,
the fractured laws, the fallen fruit, how far I've yet to go.


Anonymous said...

Really lovely, Paul. Such beautiful and haunting images.

Melissa said...


I can think of nothing else to say more complimentary for this.