Tired, hungry, hot, I climbed the steep slope to town, a sultry, watery place, crawling with insects and birds. In the semidarkness of the mountain, small things loomed large: a donkey urinating on a palm; a salt-and-saliva-stained boy riding on his mother's back; a shy roaming black Adam. I was walking on an edge. The moments fused into one crystalline rock, like ice in a champagne bucket. Time was plunging forward, like dolphins scissoring open water or like me, following Jenny's flippers down to see the coral reef, where the color of sand, sea and sky merged, and it was as if that was all God wanted: not a wife, a house or a position, but a self, like a needle, pushing in a vein.
Henri Cole - 1956-
First I saw the round bill, like a bud; then the sooty crested head, with avernal eyes flickering, distressed, then the peculiar long neck wrapping and unwrapping itself, like pity or love, when I removed the stovepipe cover of the bedroom chimney to free what was there and a duck crashed into the room (I am here in this fallen state), hitting her face, bending her throat back (my love, my inborn turbid wanting, at large all night), backing away, gnawing at her own wing linings (the poison of my life, the beast, the wolf), leaping out the window, which I held open (now clear, sane, serene), before climbing back naked into bed with you.