I could string him back up the tree, if you’d like. Return his skin’s meaning to an easy distance, coal dust, blaze And Willie Brown him. You Love how the blood muddies the original, The way it makes a stage of my speechifying, this leeching Capital from his dying, Like an activist. I know I’m not supposed to sing Of his ringing Penetrability, some hole I open impose On the form—but all I see is bullets, bullets discerning him, As years ago it was rope. I could pull it tighter, finger each bullet deeper, If you’d like, an inch rougher, Far enough to where becomes that second heat, erotic. I could use the erotic, If you’d like, So ungarish, baring not too frank A mood, subtle so you need it.— Funny How some dark will move illicit if you close your eyes, The way, say, my black Pleasure is named too explicit for a page, but this menace I put in it is not. I could yank and knot The rope, if you’d like, him like a strange fragment In them trees, And the word “again” spelled out about his neck Would be the rope’s predicate till let wild, patterned and Fierce his moan. It is a tragedy. No. It is a sonnet, how I know Already how he ends, But I could make him Her, if you’d like, regender them till merely Canvas for your “empathy,” Soup for my mouth. Still, if I could but just get This blunt, Burnt lynched body up From on Out the pocket behind my eye All trees could be themselves again, all sound.
For Nicole and John
She drew a name full of winning flesh,
Victory, I mean, so that any Yes she has to say
We might say is a Yes achieved happily all her own—
And he drew a name large as any god,
Large as a wall in the center of the night, and as calm,
God in the most gracious, the tenderest way.
To be, like them, in a tenderness now,
Chill as April; to feel ourselves, like themselves,
In a communion of that sprung blood; and to trust
That in the dark, in even the wild, forbidding dark
Which by fact must come, is no threat,
No sudden evidence to break and unheat—
Then we’re complete. Flesh falls away. Gods do.
I will make a man out of you, says one
To the other. I will make a woman. Isn’t that
What to say I choose you means, means I let go
The name I held only for myself to step sharply into yours,
Into that bareness each for the other makes,
Outside the old conceptions, the old laws,
No she, no he—but together you become a single self
That spans the sense of the imagination,
Wiser than the oldest language, which is love,
More patient than the deepest song.