After Catullus

For Thomas

In the beginning
there was grief,
a garden in the
center of a city
lit in rose and green,
a quickening of the
air across the wing
of a plane upon the
tip of the Labrador Sea
there was gleaming
there, a torque
not finished or forestalling
there was the promise of
Paris's perpetual pomme
pressed in gold,
there was only the hole
in the heel of a sock,
the steam of a since in a
fore-flung damp hotel
there was nothing baked
or boiled there was a stiffness,
a whiteness, a heaviness of
limbs and chips and silvered
peas, there was
this about it—a dipping
of the sun, a singular spoon,
a grid of hymns buried
under the finances of
a pickled cork, there
was finally that sense of it,
pharmacies or chemists
or high streets or the shape
of an ear of a baby asleep,
heavily there was that,
let me explain it again let it
be turned by the heave
of a hundred craven wivers
of verse, let the pendulous
balls of finest quality lead
render it into what I think
it is. Let me go back
to that garden in the
center of that city
to know I who I loved.