Here come the dancers, half Greek half sky
Fragrance of goat’s milk and iron—
All day, blind, alone, talking to myself
(For that’s how it was
Lonely kid telling stories to no one
In a bomb shelter, 1960
Already in love with Hercules
Who must have had friends.)
I lay on cement whispering—
How storying unfolded
Talking in the dark
Breathing odors of Army blankets.
Who loves you, who doesn’t
Where’s a lucky window
How high the sun, my lips moving.
Even now I talk to myself.
My wife sees me, says,
“what are you saying?”
I shrug. How can I tell her?
I recite fragments as some boys skip pebbles.
It might be someone else’s words
Maybe Ezra Pound:
“And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass…”
Then again it’s just me: “Trace
The veins of a barberry leaf
That’s Braille enough…”
In sidelong darkness of broken manners
When the day is insufficient
Minutes not feeding me
Up river go the words the outcast words.
Oh anything will do.