This is for you
Now that your curved wood chair
like a chair carved in Black Woods, Germany,
is gathering the silvery daylight in places,
silvery because screened first through sheets of plastic
you put over the windows to keep the heat in, in winter,
and now the whole scene is changing, I mean birds and short
orange jackets, sneaks, little pink stickers on the trees,
that open up in most places into fancy flowers, amaryllis,
for instance, to me just a fancy name for girl in antique poems,
I actually saw in a rich man’s house the other day, in vase,
its wild pink and yellow aspects, like the hands of a child Buddha,
waving at me and at him, while we chattered through scattered topics,
he was telling me how, in Buddhism, there are five families,
which are like the astrological houses, you remind me
sometimes of one house, in which the occupant is very bland,
like a clod of earth that just sits there, we call a bump on a log,
“dull” was the word, a word you use about yourself,
but then I know too you are like a kicking horse,
a horse that kicks that very dull clod into the pale blue forever,
hoofing and snorting, trying to get things started,
trying, almost to rush things, to kick the flowers into beauty.
getting all kinds of scratches, it is not your voice
that gets me moving, it is everything about you, your voice
one of the least striking lines of all, but a swish, like a tail,
but I hate all these symbols, fire, air, water, they bother me,
I mean I drink water, I know dirty air when I see it,
like in Mestre, is that the name, Italy, across the dirty industrial
canals, now that we have conquered swamps we remake them in the air,
and fire, fire is what you make dexterously in our dangerous
fireplace, when it gets cold and we drink and talk, politely,
as though we were just introduced by the lamp to one another,
this is love, when it comes down to it, a bowl of porridge here,
a few words of advice on income tax loopholes, and later,
when the swans and geese have sunk under the pink lakes of the South,
when this chair is up in final smoke, and I have not yet said it,
you and I, we will still be trying to say it in other ways,
which is, finally, the best way, like saying Amaryllis,
when you don’t mean that gorgeous hunk of fragile flower,
but mean an old girl sitting in the fertile rain, humming to death