Raining this morning & the foothills are dusted
with the gray light that comes with bad weather.
Even through the water’s falling sound
the train makes itself heard across the city
like church bells at midnight. What beautiful moaning
loudness becomes when it’s forced to stretch itself
across a distance. Like the way my lover’s song greets me
from upstairs, where he’s singing in my shower—
even across our short reach, his voice sounds truer
than when he sings & I am near him. Listening
to him croon through the water’s heavy moving,
I’m certain Eurydice was pleased
when Orpheus looked back too soon.
How happy it is to die twice
when your reward is your lover’s real voice
reaching you across wind & water & time.
How relieving to realize he is more himself
without you than when you are spread out
naked below him, your hair tangled in his palms
& his song diluted from your sating his longing.
What is constant across all love
is the inevitability of its end.
One of us will grow bored
or one of us will die, & knowing this it seems
Eurydice was best to leave love early.
Wait too long & he’ll stop
singing even from a distance. Go
now! Run from your love! May your absent
touch be the bells he hears clanging out from the steeple
into the gray night that slows into morning,
where the train will try to out-moan the wind,
where he will liken this moaning to the way
you sounded beneath him. He will pick up his lust
like a lyre & sing your name trying to reach you
wherever you are. & wherever you are
you will hear his song haunting the air like mist.
Listen to how entirely he loves you, for the first time.
I’m hardly alone—
like most men, I’ll gaze
at anything to avoid looking
inward. Like a stream
reflects what surrounds
but never the face of
itself. I mean force, I mean—
forget it. Let’s cast ourselves
into a pond: a still surface
standing forever without
a break. Let’s freeze at
the tipping point when you
leave me, here in the heart
of this song. At least
metaphors have my back;
at least the swallows outside
my window sound really into
each other. I hope they fly
so far south, they don’t
remember a thing.
Stupidly. Like a dog,
flood, like a vole
the hawk lifts screaming
to its first and last
Each want sired
want and I
was drowning in it—
but kept my head
above the choking
to choke more.
A dog, I said,
or rat pressing
lever unto death.
May we all die wanting
and getting it.