Lac de Nom Perdu
The lake is calm, it is night,
the stars are cold and clear
and a man and a woman
are floating in a rowboat
in the middle of the lake
talking now in low whispers
so that no one may enter the space
of their talking or their being
where they are
on the cool dark water
their hushed cries skimming
toward the shore like so many translucent wings
and their transitory kisses
fluttering about finger or breast
and the beaded water
falling off their oarblades
like stars, like prisms
of happiness falling
from a long way off
and with hardly a sound.
Someone is walking up and down the street
crying “My lost love, my lost love!”
without shame or consolation.
On a day for columbine and lilac,
for hearing leaves sigh in the wind,
so many spring groves are in the making,
so many different orchestras tuning up.
My lost love: a refrain which scatters like bird shot.
How many of us have gone to the window
feeling the words pierce our morning.
In my room, gardenias once:
your body floating over me, my skin
rearranging like water under your touch
and your urgent heart, that loveliest extravagance.
Poor man outside, whose sadness
idles like a hearse in front of all our doors.
And some of us climbing in without meaning to!
In the way you held your neck,
Kiss me you would say: then the world releasing
its perfumes from the garden of gardens,
and the body speaking in tongues again
wildly without reason,
without any hope for reason.