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after Sappho, fragment 16

    When I look at him and feel under my ribs
a Sukhoi T-50 performing a Pugachev’s Cobra
    no longer as an evasive maneuver
but for the thrilling thrust-vector stomach plunge,
    and my limbic system’s an alembic
distilling chilled champagne from rocket fuel,
    and my gray hairs are the smoke off ships
whose burning all night bloodied the eastern sky
    before dawn doused their charcoal spars
in cold light, whitening his beard with ash,
    and in the flotsam washed to the beach
we find a ring, a feather, a key, a watch,
    then twenty years collapse like a star;
    we’re children, giggling again at the altar.



The night I knew       That one

    Hackles up I snapped at his throat hot bark I
    could not swallow unkenneled self
    gone feral my words all canine and carnassial
    And him raising against me finally
    one eyebrow turning away on his pillow leaving
    me licking my salt and singular fury
    Cheek pressed to drain below the pissing
    shower for hours I lay gutted by the cool
    blade of his refusal even to enter the fray
    That one.    All night an army of ships
    of horses an army of men on foot marched
    through me      And him     unarmed     unharmed

on the black earth                   sleeping