“xxix. impure as i am (foodstains and shame and all) so too my conclusions which at the door scent you and hesitate
To get them out of her the wife tries making a list of words she never got to say.
How have you been.
Fancy seeing you here.
I had given up hope I grew desperate why did you take so long.
Bloodless monster! Had I never
seen or known your
are a strange docile wheat are they not, they bend
to the ground.
no one was asking. Well Ray would have asked.
so for Ray let’s just finish it.
Not because, like Persephone, I needed to cool my cheek on death,
Not, with Keats, to buy time.
Not, as the tango, out of sheer wantonness.
But oh it seemed so sweet.
To say Beauty is Truth and stop.
Rather than to eat it.
Rather than to want to eat it. This was my pure early thought.
I overlooked one thing.
That the beautiful when I encountered it would turn out to be
prior–inside my own heart,
Not out there with purposiveness, with temples, with God.
Inside. He was already me.
Condition of me.
As if Kutuzov had found himself charging across the battlefield at Borodino
not the emperor Napolean but a certain old king Midas
touched half the Russian army into bitter boys of gold.
Words, wheat, conditions, gold, more than thirty years of it fizzing around in me–there
I lay it to rest.
You smile. I think
you are going to mention again
those illuminated manuscripts from medieval times where the scribe
has made an error in copying
so the illuminator encloses the error
in a circlet of roses and flames
which a saucy little devil is trying to tug off the side of the page.
After all the heart is not a small stone
to be rolled this way and that.
The mind is not a box
to be shut fast.
And yet is is!
Well life has some risks. Love is one. Terrible risks.
Ray would have said
Fate’s my bait and bait’s my fate
On a June evening.
Here’s my advice,