When bareness hits the limbs
and our alluring array is stripped,
the winds tousle, the branches
rustle. Down the sheets tumble
the rain, ecstatic and quick, tripped
off your limber frame
with lightning, thunder, roar and rumble
we were feverish
In icy frigidity gripped.
The days’ decay withdrew
with death falling on our eaves.
Our oaken togetherness
like torrents of leaves on the sidewalk
sets old forests aflame
and swamps to boil as turgid thieves.
And though the bloom was off,
the brier smelled like sweet talk
and rose to apogee,
a seasonal sort of glee.
Our park of pleasure,
with crisscrossing cattail play,
with snowy aspen scenes,
with beech intimations cuts me
to the quick, we strayed
and plotted our Guy Fawkes Day
with alderman dismay.
I, sinking into bark-fed ground,
the baneful, bashful eye
casting on a crooked craving,
sit on the willow pillow
and dance to air’s keening sound.
And you, of the hardest softwood,
you spring into my arms engraving
into air and light
your secret disassociation;
your hue is overwhelming,
my eye by colour overwhelmed
with tensed alacrity,
with target-sighing adoration.
Forget my barbs and shafts
to your most private heart propelled
from shaking, silken tongues
with death in our mouths stalking.
Forget the leaves and leaving,
forget the breathless separation,
forget the heedless loving,
and all the pointless, endless talking:
I cleave, in all despair,
in times of darkness and elation,
in spite of all your whims,
in hopes of changing winds and tides,
to you, and all your sins,
to you, my every destination,
to you, where I repair,
to you, where heart and body abides.