If I were a female hummingbird perched still And quiet on an upper myrtle branch In the spring afternoon and if you were a male Alone in the whole heavens before me, having parted Yourself, for me, from cedar top and honeysuckle stem And earth-down, your body hovering in mid-air Far away from jewelweed, thistle and beebalm;
And if I watched how you fell, plummeting before me,
And how you rose again and fell, with such mastery
That I believed for a moment you were the sky
And the red-marked bird diving inside your circumference
Was just the physical revelation of the light's
Most perfect desire;
And if I saw your sweeping and sucking Performance of swirling egg and semen in the air, The weaving, twisting vision of red petal And nectar and soaring rump, the rush of your wing In its grand confusion of arcing and splitting Created completely out of nothing just for me,
Then when you came down to me, I would call you My own spinning bloom of ruby sage, my fiinneling Storm of sunlit sperm and pollen, my only breathless Piece of scarlet sky, and I would bless the base Of each of your feathers and touch the tine Of string muscles binding your wings and taste The odor of your glistening oils and hunt The honey in your crimson flare
Most Recent Book: Splitting and Binding (Wesleyan University Press, 1989)
clumps of fuchsia, fleshy leaves of wild ginger.
It's a good bet. It's easy. It's a sure thing. That the warmth & abiding plenitude of this morning would permit me to call your pain a fugue, an intricately feathered spiral, because it sounds lovely. And lovely implies consolation and accuracy. But all the while, buried inside, hurt is still hurt, shame still shame.
And though you turned, once, at the edge of a pool in Tucson, green eyes intensified by the water, snub nose pierced by a tiny silver stud, gossiping, you would never have claimed your laughter was a music, as I could now, the run of notes a stampede, & after the stampede just tracks in the earth to tell of the beasts & their escape.
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