To My Greek
Uncrackable by nuance or debate,
Eat with your fingers, wear your bloomers to bed,
Under my skin stay nude. Let past and future
Perish upon our lips, ocean inherit
Those paper millions. Let there be no word
For justice, grief, convention; you be convention—
Goods, bads, kaló-kakó, cockatoo-raucous
Coastline of white printless coves
Already strewn with offbeat echolalia.
Forbidden Salt Kiss Wardrobe Foot Cloud Peach
—Name, it, my chin drips sugar. Radiant dumbbell, each
Noon’s menus and smalltalk leave you
Likelier, each sunset yawned away,
Hair in eyes, head bent above the strummed
Lexicon, gets by heart about to fail
This or that novel mode of being together
Without conjunctions. Still
I fear for us. Nights fall
We toss through blindly, drenched in her appraising
Glare, the sibyl I turn to
When all else fails me, when you do.
The mother tongue!
Her least slip a mirror triptych glosses,
Her automation and my mind are one.
Ancient in fishscale silver-blue,
What can she make of you? Her cocktail sweats
With reason: speech will rise from it,
Quite beyond your comprehension rise
Like blood to a slapped face, stingingly apt
If unrepeatable, tones one forgets
Even as one is changed for life by them,
Veins branching a cold coral,
Common sense veering into common scenes,
Tears, incoherent artifice,
Altar upset, cut glass and opaline
Schools ricocheting through the loud cave
Where lie my Latin’s rusted treasure,
The bones, picked clean, of my Italian,
Where some blue morning also she may damn
Well find her windpipe slit with that same rainbow
Edge a mere weekend with you gives
To books, to living (anything to forego
That final drunken prophecy whereby,
Lacking her blessing, you my siren grow
Stout, serviceable, gray,
A fishwife shawled in fourth-hand idiom
Spouting my views to earth and heaven)—Oh,
Having chosen the way of little knowledge.
Trusted each to use the other
Kindly except in moments of gross need,
Come put the verb-wheel down
And kiss my mouth despite the foot in it.
Let schoolboys brave her shallows. Sheer
Lilting azure float them well above
Those depths the surfacer
Lives, when he does, alone to sound and sound.
The barest word be what I say in you.