So this is why everything was shaped,
the pelvis’s fine, shy curve
and the roseate fragile line of the soul.
Not for the somewhere melodious
immaterial smile of a passing god.
No. For this:
to form a gate, for a stranger to come in,
that first stranger, the ur- stranger.
And out of which will go, into the world,
other strangers, inconsequentially,
without a glance, setting their courses
towards their particular fates, driving away.
Expediency, ah – ah flesh –
not inviolate, slowly mouldering,
ah violated soul, rending from itself,
continually, a new soul,
and recovering only to rend itself again.
Scarred soul, where love, even,
is a utility, inescapable, for purpose-designed.
Life uses you. Just like that, unceremoniously,
with a sneer at best, makes use of, tosses away.
And if some corner remains untouched,
it’s no longer any use. A corner of a soul – yes.
Not tragic. Just useless now.
A love: merely a sea
surging through the limbs, a sea of blood
with skin-hairs swaying like water-plants;
under the abundance a hard dry pain, submerged:
today under our boat –
a noon shadow?
a deep-down black palm supporting us:
ebony, plated with waves,
beautiful, from here, already.
Sitting in a café
and through the window there’s a little tree. A maple.
Its leaves are fluttering.
Visible right up to the tip.
Then behind it, though actually it seems in front
a tram’s pulling up and stopping. It opens its throat
and teeth rear up.
Then the jaws clack shut and the whole contraption slides off.
In the maple
there’s a convulsion.
Buying and selling
selling and buying
our own life.
It comes dear
and it’s going cheap.
Stars are again like a teary ballad, and at nights
dogs tune their cloven violins.
I do not let sorrow come,
I do not let it near.
A thousand feet of snow over my heart.
I mumble a lot to myself, in the street
I sing aloud.
Sometimes I see myself in passing, with a hat, perfect food
for winds, with some thought or other aslant.
I talk about death, when I mean life. I walk with my papers
in a mess, I don’t own a single theory, only a swearing dog.
When I ask for liquor, I’m offered ice-cream,
I may be a Spaniard, with my hairline
low like this, indeed:
I may not be from these parts.
I sweat, trying to talk, once in a while
Almost more than for my death, I mourn for my birth.
And all I ask for
is a thousand feet of snow over my heart.