There is everywhere to go when you stay
in one place. I enter the door you open.
I stand where you are when you stand with me.
There is always the sound of the seabirds
at noon. If I were there what would we make
if it’s not too late, and if it is we may
still try. I bring my own weather to you,
which is no better than here, my ice
on your tongue, your heat filling me
because I fill you, one balancing the other.
If I could stay, sun would glow all night,
even the moon would warm our sleep.
I cannot tell you how I came to this
but there are the books where I gathered you,
and you me, closed between covers what no one
may read, its name The Book of Sudden Life.
No one knows where this book waits to be found.
Only you. Look in your heart’s rooms,
where all that love cushions is close
to your body when you let it go free
to breathe with me through the netting you brought
from your other country. What we bring stays
until one of us or the other is filled
and if both are, it’s called, finally, love.
Or until we have drunk the elixir
of all the love, the life we are given.
The end does not mean beginnings
never return, if this book is the only one
to arrive after all the others have been read.
I stay here half the night, you the other.
If I’m the soul in my skin, here it is.
Take it. Give it back to me when you want
or once you have tracked this voice to its source.
No matter, love. I wanted you that much.
If I knew how to keep you, the creature
I am, the fire would fly through my fingers
like any blaze whose sparks leap from your eyes.
Tell me of the land where we are. Do you
toss gulls scraps of bread they can pluck from air?
Do the fish leap here? How do men love you?
(31 March; revised 2 April 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander