You wrote, Out my window now I see morning rain
and some old shoes tied to a fire escape.
That was the first day. A year later and the rain
Falls outside my own Brooklyn room,
And the mourning doves murmured their songs
In the pocket of my ear. All of a sudden I woke up
And it was a new century and glass condos were rising
Where the moon once cradled next to Venus
Out on the prairie. Achromatic winter light. Julian Schnabel
Lounging on a couch in his pajamas, a state of undressing,
But this is just a photograph,
The trace of light on a lens.
And these are just words, the trace of your hand.
In the postcard I write back to you
I am pressing my hand to your chest. I am touching you, full stop.
There is a river flowing beneath a foreign city, where I was young and still am
Illuminated by lights in an underground tunnel.
You could drop your love-letters there in the cold stone water
And watch them float away like small boats.
Someone left a euphonium submerged– the water murmurs, it murmurs still,
Trips over the valves and tubes, mouthpieces and bells
Into the throat of a hidden song.
Not being able to touch is sometimes as interesting as touching
We are like these two stone cairns
Set apart in separate seas, the waves breaking us down,
Disappearing in the sand, uninhabitable.
And I’m some question you refuse to answer.
When I finally look in your eyes, I see your gaze
Carding through my skin with its teeth,
Like a comb in the lamb’s fleece.
You bend down before you go and kiss me.
Does it exist between our bodies, do you feel it there in the dark,
Some unknowable thing? We’re not naked,
But there’s a nakedness between us.
Listen, you can hear
The sound of my breath caught like wing beats against your neck
And the hawkmoths and the hummingbird moths in the dark,
Tonguing the corolla.