You are not beautiful, exactly.
You are beautiful, inexactly.
You let a weed grow by the mulberry
And a mulberry grow by the house.
In a wilderness, in some orchestral swing
through trees, with a wind playing all the high notes,
and the prospect of a string bass inside the wood,
I, or someone like me, had a kind of vision.
I wanted to see the self, so I looked at the mulberry.
It had no trouble accepting its limits,
yet defining and redefining a small area
so that any shape was possible, any movement.
I leave the office, take the stairs,
in time to mail a letter
before 3 in the afternoon--the last dispatch.
The red, white and blue air mail
Gray rainwater lay on the grass in the late afternoon.
The carp lay on the bottom, resting, while dusk took shape
in the form of the first stirrings of his hunger,
and the trees, shorter and heavier, breathed heavily upward.
crawl toward the machine guns
except to freeze
for explosions and flares.
It was still ninety degrees
I'm raising the emotional ante,
putting my face
in the leaves to be stepped on,
His army jacket bore the white rectangle
of one who has torn off his name. He sat mute
at the round table where the trip-wire veterans
Ethics without faith, excuse me,
is the butter and not the bread.
You can't nourish them all, the dead