You Bliss

Caught unawares I’d
picked from among our CDs
Kirschlager’s Bach A-

ias. Your linens
among your dearest things, our
sweat, our grunts and ex-

plosive sighs. Angel-
ika’s mezzo soprano
from the other room

half-heard, delicate
double to our earthly lust,
I’d say blessing now.

You World

I bought you boxes
and boxes of Sharpies and
reporter’s notebooks

for your walks round down-
town: Tobyflaneur curbside
chats up locals! I

bought you bracelets
and silver rings from Forzi-
eri online. And

your hats! No Southern
Lady wore them with such pan-
ache. They came from all

over. Boiled wool, felt,
straw. From the Borsalino
shop at the Spanish

Steps (I was there): what
a great hat! You bought your own
hats. Through the decades,

the world was your beat
and ornament. Now that you’re
gone, you still make news.

You Ache

Are my erotics
speculative? The mirror
of Leonardo,

the blue of Mary,
or immanent transcendence?
On dead afternoons

something else holds me.
I ache for your strong thin arms,
your warm volumes, shapes,

tints, fragrances, breath.
It’s both you and not and fades
with the afternoon.

You Saved

I’ve done it, gone through
the photographs you saved not
for me to see but

for that mythic self,
futureless, ever-present.
I’d say “We’ve done it.”

Together we saw
you kissing your girl friend on
Nantucket — lovely

girl; architecture
in Berlin, Vienna, elsewhere.
Numerous boyfriends.

You had wonderful
taste. I saved a few for my
own eternity.

You Again

If starting over
means saying yes once again
to the abyss of

I say yes in memory
of you who said yes

to wine and fasting.
Like you I have no reason
for saying yes but

a feeling that to
say yes to life at this point
makes ultimate sense.

You Love

Say you whoever
whatever wherever you
are now may I in-

troduce my new friend?
Time passes here, your picture
absorbs memory

so I put it by.
Memory’s absolutes pass —
everything passes.

An old man I wake
with urgency. I relieve
myself, return to

dreams, urgencies, fresh
images of ultimate
love which does not sleep.

You Snow

I am not over-
given to the patience of
images and yet

Fierdorczuk’s image
of flowers bred beneath the
snow covering a

dead woman sheds a
strange light, nihilism yes
but nihilism

in whose light I am
simply what I am in light
of its stranger light.

You Angel

Yes, we welcomed the
angel of death to our house.
Its strangeness rendered

the nothing less strange.
You were always ready for
some new adventure.

You had had enough
of pain. All I could do is
say I love you. So:

Am I at a new
interface with creation
You said yes and I

am at a loss for
words. The angel is real and
nothing not so much.

You Class

You put up with my
lectures on haiku at the
night school. In the breaks

we’d take the ele-
vator up and kiss — short break
between Basho and

Buson. We returned
to class red-faced and happy.
Everybody smiled

as I resumed the
talk about the fertile void
and empty fulness.

You Heron

The boat being out,
we’d smoke and drink on the dock
empty at sundown.

We felt the presence
of the shy night heron on
a rock shelf below,

watching the water
in the shadows. Then the stars.
And we were shadows.

The great bird would croak.
A voice from the underworld?
No, no. Fellow crea-

ture, it withdrew with
the return of the tour boat,
all lights and laughter.