Monday, May 03, 2004

Short-form (rough-hewn and green)

on my best days i'm upset that I can't find you

grasping only a bare sketch
the faint outline of distinction
with which to recognize the ease of your
slippered tip-toe gracefulness

i've looked upstairs and down
behind bookshelves half-transparent
and in chairs and couches filled with
lounging library lizards sunning

sometimes i doubt that you're real
because no one fits the slipper i've kept locked
in my towered hall, in my jewelled box,
in a case under a glass cover next to the
wilting rose

when i was most recently mistaken
the fault lay in my misreading of
eyebrows raised and bare-teeth smiling
laughter and proximity

proximity i find is easiest to misunderstand

miscontruing the obvious, i leapt heartlong to
the conclusion of interest and (exultation!) attraction
but interest was curiosity clothed in silks,
and attraction, merely friendship in masque

i should have felt it coming
should have realized that she was not you
should have recognized that her form was not
outlined on this page in my hand but since i don't
know you either i can hardly
be blamed for the mistake

on my worst days i curse your veiled name

when you dance behind smoke like an
evil dream taunting me past distraction
playing me Tantalus in your apple-eyed esteem
burning me eyeblind in the charcoal haze surrounding
your chiffoned arms and hips

i can hear you laughing quietly like abaddon's daughter
as you whisper that my guiding outline
cannot lead me aright, for it is
is no more like you than
the scribbling of a child or a poet.

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