Fragments from an Abandoned Ode

- 1927-1996

The Sicilian bees     They move inside the mind
Our souls are as big as Rome
Her body like a mirror
A statue made of words
The dwarf of love
Bring the wine that heals the summer’s wounds
A wife of freshly fallen snow
The first night of the world—its stars and
     moons still move inside our arteries
Who is the one who carries the horizon in his eyes?
A honeycomb of lies
He writes a letter to his death at 24
10,000 yesterdays gathered on the shelves of
     the library
Leave a photo of yourself behind


To be able to walk along and see
the fierce green sun
the meadow grass the tall gently bobbing weeds
then to take a walk inside yourself
and see trees tall as Tom Thumb
It’s always raining here     It never rains
I’m strolling among the shadows of everyone
     I’ve ever loved
But this morning I was flying with the birds
Not knowing like the map there was a destination
But it was fun
Like making love on Tuesday instead of
     our customary Sunday afternoon
I’ve learned to suffocate death
and continue doing so all day


I want to write a poem the birds will understand
and the snakes and stones
the trees with their
               secrets and green faces
Let it enchant the dolphins and the whales
when they are courting in the middle of the ocean
Let it talk with the aborigine
who knows the moon’s a person in the sky
And should it be the last poem in the world
let it be among the first in worlds we’ve never
seen                                 where it may talk to rivers
there                                                       and animals we’ve only
seen in dreams                                              Let it walk
around in rooms                                                      where
God’s footprints have remained behind
Let it be something I’ve been unable to imagine here
There’ll be fish there             I may be riding on the
            back of one today
Will the poem be about the cheetahs and the wind
we only see when we’re in love?