Falling in love with a mustache
is like saying
you can fall in love with
the way a man polishes his shoes
All fathers in Western civilization must have
a military origin. The
Can these movements which move themselves
be the substance of my attraction?
Where does this thin green silk come from that covers my body?
Surely any woman wearing such fabrics
Blue of the heaps of beads poured into her breasts
and clacking together in her elbows;
blue of the silk
that covers lily-town at night;
Loudell, in a loose cotton dress
the color of delphiniums,
her hair, owl-feathered and quiet
The relief of putting your fingers on the keyboard,
as if you were walking on the beach
and found a diamond
as big as a shoe;
A boy in some Dickens school
tipped his inkwell
and poured out a continent
of black sail, lines flapping as
her black arm: a diving porpoise,
sprawled across the ice-banked pillow.
I walk the purple carpet into your eye
carrying the silver butter server
but a truck rumbles by,
My sister in her well-tailored silk blouse hands me
the photo of my father
in naval uniform and white hat.
I say, "Oh, this is the one which Mama used to have on her dresser."