Midnight’s Other Side

Restraint has hollows;
nothing’s like a melted torso.
Lines have amplitude.

And she comes in pieces, this Gift-giver, this woman from the other side of midnight, in trajectories, soft angles and planes, curves galore in this, her classroom of touch, taste, and sleek terrors. Hello, Two-Dream Tommy, she says, here are two roads you must take one at a time. Oh, is she north of me or south, breathing yet or not, an image impossible to see, yet I would bet on her on either road I find?

I dream her July,
spraddled, urgent, on display.
Hot darkness becomes.

More than geography hugging me, but what deliciousness in January’s wind, trees stripped to rawest dimensions, oh bare bark that’s borne. On edges of this electric road, crows by dozens the only intruders in full-dress shadows, three-day-old snow crusting to gray, three marvelous, mysterious wires hang as if knotting ships together at low tide, weighted with more than a sense of ice, and sing through the keen teeth of a day going down to its knees in her own perfection.

Absolve me, lover.
Summer’s song is in your mouth,
I keep all the notes.

The last prayer: you turning away from me on a forgotten road, your eyes shadows of a ditch done with digging, your mouth one dead tree in morning light, your skin high on each cheek tired as the fields beyond, angles of hands and fingers distraught as roots from an old pine scratching for life an inch deep in soil, where odors bury themselves in mere cosmetic measure, softest gesture. Roadside strands thick as old hawsers, carrying theater lights, marquees alphabet-bright in upper case, library lamps under which notes are passed, the grocer’s late display behind a six-foot window, fire alarms and call boxes with blue lights like taillights of a ’51 Ford, carry on how divas do their derring-do. I remember you before, dawn coming up in hazel eyes, your hands heavy as chocolate, how you walked your willingness about me in morning’s parade, residues falling off your fond lip as a petal bleeds spring, sweet Scheherazade or salty Salome, love’s fingertips on their endless parades, fiery fluids unobstructed,
that music’s mound of silence:
insurmountable,
bone-fed symmetries.

Are they heard downhill, flat side, down where this strange road ends, or begins, a dynamo bellied into earth the way a bear buries in all winter, this old man writing a journal just past his latest midnight? These songs you sing, these notes of mine not for grocers or ticket takers or lovers embattled by scented, pressing time. Even bears are spared this wizardry, of songs the wind owns at lips of wires, arias heaved offstage from spider webs slung between Erector-set steel skeletons like forgotten messages along the road, or compliments remembered in quiet hours between places lit up with odors. Thin-mil songs, wired notes stretched out in steel and nervous alloys, high-minded and high winded, humming the music of the spheres.

Airs at bird level,
dog’s ear of the universe;
technicalities.

All things folded into you, diameter of skirt, pickets of pleats in a circular fence, and a gate you opened into the reservoir of your soul, silence a gasp at my thumb clutch, my fingers locked upon the mound. Sunday morning, there’s a zoo with an empty bench and a tree calcium white and a skin of iron and blue feathers in the air thick as snow. My hand reaching one hundred feet of asphalt to touch one breast you jettison for me into the trimmed holy air after Mass after kneeling.

My name caught under
your breath, the known disturbance,
arch’s urged commands.

How do you do that again and again? When you’re young and shadowy, the wind through a midnight screen, and rain its brazen complement, belong in the same irreverent choir; voice sharpening the wind itself, honing to a point those cold stridors, the exhaust of caterwauling rigid metal ribbons upon charitable and dark rivers of air, another place of shadows along those shaded roads.

Less than madness left
but song’s July rocketry;
Lo, the notes are mine.

Monday, a day full of sin. The taut white skin of you comes at me like balloons. I am afraid I will explode if I touch again fragile air pockets you have made of breasts. As if your left breast is an anchor I should grasp, the right a mooring for my travels, the dark desperation legs enfold is a ghost beating itself into my mind, a facsimile of abandonment, a deep and ever-intriguing retreat, a thing nearly as paramount as you, or more, the way you measure out degrees. Now and then, orchestrated dull and basso cantante, a tower vibrates and threatens to topple, its wired voices plunging with roots and footings where trees empty their emptiness. The last sound made, the ultimatum investing the lolling cables, is unheard

Lovely notes are lost;
The song flounders in your mouth.
Echoes found in clouds.

I end up submerged not in your warmth but in Tuesday night’s dream. Your hips assail me, your hands implore, angles reside in shadows. From what sea does this dampness come and abide, what evolution turns your saline chemistry to this, bids me bury my mouth alive?

The libretto moving me
onward and outward:
You know what I love.

I walk here between songs, watching rabbits sleek on snow, whitened for last resort, paddle-footed, snow-shoed for their abrupt run at living, alerted of a hawk tasting them from thermal undertakings, and find myself ready for the noisy adjectives wires spill overboard, seeing the fork in front of me, seeking.

At your fingertips, a curse. I swear I am taken. Far away rivers, mountains melting, dams letting loose absolute awe, accord their dulcet undertones. There is a curse at your fingertips.

I swear by weight borne
on me. Oh, Love, on your knees,
absolve my silence.

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