At Home in Santa Barbara On a Spring Night, 03-26-2010
It is not only for the sake of nostalgia that there is one
maraschino cherry in my glass of soda
which until now was brimming and rolling with
too much Maker’s Mark.
Any more whisky and I’d need a petticoat too voluminous
to barter or buy,
and someone to carry me out, or to gallantly
Words come easy from a woman that’s easy, easy as
sleep in an old-thyme nightie, lace and lilac blossoms
from ruffled hem to buttoned bodice,
but no sleeves.
Words come easy to little girls gazing into their mamas’ rings.
They come easy to ladies suffused with spring
and all of the love that spring brings.
In the tub I was lithe as Godiva and with a back just as bare,
as bare as my body every night spent dreaming in my bed;
naked as a seal, with lavender ‘neath my head: strewn among my sheets
as I make love to me, sweetly in the language of my sleep.
When I drew the fancy razor up the swell of my calf
I smiled at its sensitivity. Steel-clad, made for a man,
designed to kiss the contours of another skin entirely,
to be drawn like a tongue along a cheek
(a recollection of your beard sets me bashfully aflame
but all the same--)
the jingle of my cat’s collar enraptures me
and a life is comprised of years, o’
ain’t it lovely?
time enough to draw you into my pale arms,
rose - tinged, longing to
sing. time enough your bell to ring, you
undulating young thing
A Muse and An Artist
For Hannah, 03-27-2010
To she who would never allege to be a mere purveyor of luxurious things:
Of all the museums we have seen, we can recall perhaps thirteen;
And not a spool, a seed, or a photograph is for sale.
Our hands are neither weighed nor bowed with rings.
A few simple spheres whisper our
Our azure path is silk unrolling--
Only Love knows where it leads.
Only succulents in earth-red pots can lean
In the direction of the blessings we shall see.
To she whose hair tumbles in a garnet stream.
To she whose smiling mother waited patiently.
To she who found a crescent, bone
On my family’s land, Hannah caressed a forested stretch
And uncovered a nest
To she who surveyed the lot, and hand-picked only the best:
To she who understands why I have swallowed my grandfather’s key--
To she who I have known long before the citrus trees
Stretched and sprawled their roots so languidly,
I need not tell her not to worry. I need not tell her not to weep.
I need not tell her that we are swaying cyprus beams
Never captive, never trapped. No taxidermic thing;
We are not new though we are young and are not glass
Although we gleam. Through the marbled green of
River-stones we see Every thing.
We push aside our petticoats and stumble
Into the stream. We do not fear, do not want--
We have no need.
On the Last Night of a Spring Weekend at Home in Santa Barbara, March 28th 2010
Here she arrived pale and lithe, a slender green stem
unencumbered by the calla lily in pure white bloom at its end
its end, you see, was not an end like the sort which
clips correspondences deliberately short (sometimes
starkly short, but never scrawled unseen by
the eyes more knowing than any Other’s could hope to be.)
Here she arrived without any plans of which to speak.
Driven through Hidden Valley past the placid beach, where
all wore their airy finery to languidly stroll State Street,
drink a cocktail, have a laugh with those that love them--
enjoy the easy pleasure of the Spring.
In the garden she sat ‘neath the citrus trees
and lay naked unabashed in the heat.
From under a bed she came upon an old box of keys,
Snapshots of Morocco and her grandfather’s cufflinks.
On sunday evening she was suffused with a want
not to leave, to stay safe with her mother and father
on the couches where they laid, propped on those familiar
tasseled pillows, watching the cats play
Only vaguely contemplating the horizon of the Bay.
Her shoulders grew sunburnt as cherry tomatoes to-day.
At brunch the waiter fell in love and let it suffuse his face
and she considered that, were she brave, she could
have asked his name--
Driven back in her own time and spoken of things gentle
for it was all so gently fey.
She might have said, your face is kind, your eyes soothe
my eyes like rain. And, Thank You for your smile for your
smile was not in vain. Your skin reminds me of the
dulce de leche candy I craved
From the bodega I would visit on lazy days
Across from the church in my home-town where the
little girls wore white, and knew that they were beautiful
and felt it, too.