Arms and the girl I sing - O rare
arms that are braceleted and white and bare
arms that were lovely Helen's, in whose name
My mother-- preferring the strange to the tame:
Dove-note, bone marrow, deer dung,
Frog's belly distended with finny young,
Leaf-mould wilderness, hare-bell, toadstool,
The stout poet tiptoes
On the lawn. Surprisingly limber
For more than thirty years we hadn't met.
I remembered the bright query of your face,
That single-minded look,intense and stern,
Yet most important -how could I forget?-
The whole green sky is dying.The last tree flares
With a great burst of supernatural rose
Under a canopy of poisonous airs.
for Maxine Kumin
Where did these enormous children come from,
More ladylike than we have ever been?
Midas watched the golden crust
That formed over his steaming sores,
Hugged his agues, loved his lust,
But damned to hell the out-of-doors
For Ann London
As you described your mastectomy in calm detail
and bared your chest so I might see
No-one explains me because
There is nothing to explain.
It's all right here
He was believed by his peers to be an important poet,
But his erotic obsession, condemned and strictly forbidden,
Compromised his standing, and led to his ruin.