I want you to have direction in life.
Itís not that I donít know about loss of meaning,
or loss of love, or how that might occur ...
I gave you a bear of green malachite,
a round squat pebble, the size
of your finger-nail, power of a fist,
blue fish jammed in its jaw,
an arrow of turquoise tied to its back ó
carved by the Zuni as a fetish for the hunt.
You gave me a fetish of pink quartz,
an archaic image of horse, engraved
with a hand, spiral, bird and Kokapelli,
dancing and playing his flute,
and as if an omen I dreamed of four horses,
round and glossy as chestnuts,
their heads resting on a white-picket fence,
in fall of evening, suffused in light,
The following week we saw them:
four horses in the valley of Olema,
placid under a vast fir tree.
We gave them our apple cores, their long
noses pushing into our hands,
flanks of close hair warm to our touch,
saddles and stirrups laid on the fence.
Yet, these horses are as wild at heart
as the horses of myth that charged into hell ó
took you down to the underworld
leaving me above.
She beckons with a saintís open palms,
Artemis from Ephesus, offering
her multiple breasts like a clutch of eggs.
A fecundity of tiny animals breaks out
from inside her body ó
dogs with lapping tongues, nervous deer
and docile cows grabble under her skin,
rows of prancing horses charge towards us
(we imagine how their miniature hooves
would hammer us with keen blows)
lions prowl the length of her arms
and there are bees settled as if sitting on honey.
So you lie, with your arm around a leopard,
limp as a kitten in your grasp,
a stag guarding your lair
and I lie at your left side, content.
But a wild dog persists in you,
the dog that sees blindly with its nose.
Guide me, in this half-known world.
Ravening, I will follow the scent.
To see this woman on screen ó
watch for fifteen minutes
her face, turn her head once
on the pillow, hair spread out in a halo,
muscles in her neck stiffen, eye-
lids closed, silence,
except for ambient sounds
in the room
full of people sat gazing at
the shape of her lips
change, her mouth opening,
appearance of her tongue,
widening of her mouth, and after
the moment of orgasm,
eyes flying open
looking back at us,
a smile on her lips,
and as Breda Beban says
this work is less about masturbation
than Van Gochís field of corn, crows
flying overhead, is
I sit in the spill of moonlight
bitten by gnats
(sipping beer and grateful).
Desert cacti in plastic pots
demarcate the patio,
the oleander parts its flower.
I can't sleep ó
you call it a metaphysical yearning,
I call it grief.
Next morning he is out there,
the owner of this villa, removing
every fallen petal and leaf.
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