Little eagle chick,
Sucking butter from hot toast.
I feel like Buddha.
Brittle and bright, your magnificent shell,
Fragile and taut as attic drums,
It is the shroud of your diminishment,
Apace your nemesis comes.
Haughtily you perch, a bird of veneers,
Too fat to fly, too dull to sing,
Glare at the distance from darkening bough,
And decry the birds on the wing.
The ego-shine, divine! What grand design!
All things in your estimation,
Are proclaimed this or that, tuneful or flat,
To deaf, enrapt congregations.
On that vernal night I sowed the long-cold earth, oblivious,
I sowed foolishness, carelessly cast, draped in coal-bright lanterns,
Backlit by the waxy, gibbous moon, on the hilltop, above the restless sea,
And all about, black eyes, twice cloaked in black and black surveyed,
Marked my careless, guardless, retreating ways,
And waiting, hunched and gnarled, like dead arrayed,
They scuttled out and sowed from charnel pots,
The hope of loss.
And we made there, like a wretched dream,
Unmapped, unmarked, a withered field,
And all that long winter, we starved for want of love,
In the wasteland they had made.
Be with me,
My prison-guard, whose smile the only light
In this oubliette of mine; no darkness,
Only a forgetting of what is bright,
A rich smear, a Monet in my mind’s eye,
Of you, only you.
And at last,
With your glittering soul I shall hold still,
With hands on hips and sweet Athena’s eye,
Your beauty tumbles the sky until
The end days have flickered out, unremarked,
Unbound by these spells.
So touch me,
With that quivering, that flinch, holding fast,
Sharp intake of breath and melt into memory,
The memory of embraces long past,
And the flight of love and timeless things like
Raindrops on a bridge.
At last, the blessed night draws down,
Like velvet cold on fevered crown,
No Lord of the apple towns, I,
No darling heir of hop-frames high,
This darkling manor, none of mine,
I trespass from an Eastern shore,
Outcast by the witch-queen’s war.
Far-off the flares of my demise,
Magisterial dark oaks rise,
I am the hapless Pauper King,
In teary-eyed lament of spring,
At peace with every bitter thing,
No prophet’s shine about my head,
‘Tis filled with dullard thoughts instead.
And then I, drunk on nothing left,
Except this shameful heart bereft,
Of hope; cold under black abyss,
And clutch at gates and almost miss,
The beating at the heart of bliss,
And return’d to halls, thrice content,
Shut out the peasant horde’s lament.