My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases,
At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring,
Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen,
And have no cunning with any soft thing
Beside the rivers of the midnight town
Where four-foot couples love and paupers drown,
Shots of quick hell we took, our final kiss,
Crude seeing’s all our joy: could we discern
The cold dark infinite vast where atoms burn
—Lone suns—in flesh, our treasure and our play,
Not knowing in what season this again
Not knowing when again the arms outyearning
Nor the flung smile in eyes not knowing when
This seablue fir that rode the mountain storm
Is swaddled here in splints of tin to die.
Sofas around in chubby velvet swarm;
If what began (look far and wide) will end:
This lava globe huddle and freeze, its core
It’s brief and bright, dear children; bright and brief.
Delight’s the lightning; the long thunder’s grief.
We had a city also. Hand in hand
Wandered happy as travellers our own land.
Murmured in turn the hearsay of each stone