Do you think the hardest thing
You can do is love the world
As it is rather than as
You think the world ought to be?
Try and remember the first
Time you opened a window
To listen to summer rain
And felt the cooling air move
Slowly over your warm skin;
Remember how difficult
And pleasing it was to move
Together to the window?
You know the hardest thing in
The world is two moving as one.
Here’s a view—and I’m content espousing it—
Philosophies ain’t pants you tailor to fit;
Though there is a way they’re similar to such—
Too little is mostly better than too much.
You, for whom I write this poem again
And again and again, do you still
Feel the warm pendulum of my tongue
Marking the passages of the moon
Across a litter of galaxies
In their slow pin-wheeling explosions
Through the deep millennia of night?
Do you see me as I see you still,
Our upper lips glistening with sweat,
Our bodies tracing short bright arcs
Through the few moments of abandon
We stole once before you rose, alone,
And walked home in the dawn? That morning,
Did the wind taste of clover and salt?
I thought I’d like some machine to be
My spirit animal as they seemed
Everything in this world I am not—
Designed, undesigning, purposeful
Replicable, and explicable.
So I tried them out from cpus
To rattling wooden water screws;
I tried every friend’s well-oiled love
From sybian to kalashnikov.
I found some ran cold and some ran hot
And some took stock of me while I dreamed
And measured all my complicity.
Gears don’t absolve any of us, people,
We’re all lazily reprehensible.
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you
The truth about the moon and me.
I know we appear somewhat estranged
These days and, perhaps, growing distant,
But ours is an eccentric orbit,
A precession of perturbations.
So what you see of us is nothing
Like we really are. Nothing at all.
Do you think the long bright nights we spend
Staring into each other’s faces
Could be enough? That would be no more
Than a chaste simulacrum of love.
Try to imagine the other nights
The moon and I spend each month slowly
Rolling in a hemisphere of sky
You will never see, where the stars crushed
Beneath us smell of sweet red clover
And our sweat is the dew in July.
A morning came when all the ditches
Lay drying and cluttered with lupins
In the summer sun. You and I, we
Kept their colours contained so carefully
Every day then, at the edges of
Lawns mowed fretfully from green to brown
Year after year. Oh, Julys were rote.
Sometimes now I look out the window
To see your daughter push a mower
Over where the lupins grew. I ask,
Regularly, why she cuts them down.
Your memory is a scythe, she says.
Let’s begin with a simple fact: time passes faster in the mountains than it does at sea level.
Ash on a mountain down to
The slow-heaving sea,
What’s time but smeared colours,
An Impressionist painting?.