For Huncke

Knowing no other god than this:
the man who places on your mouth
a kiss. Keep no mystery
but his who whispers memory.

Though he lead you to the desert
or over hills where famine
flowers, like the locust
he devours what he loves most.

Saving none for tomorrow, or dawn
comes with empty arms, and he knows no way
to feed himself, feeding off others,
he has many, who find him, help him

you be one and dedicate your life
and misery to the upkeep of this cheapskate
you love so much no one else
seems to bridge the gap

with their common habits and rude manners,
his never were, a perfect gentleman
who leaves no trace, but lingers through the room
after he has gone, so I would follow

anywhere, over desert or mountain,
it’s all the same if he’s by my side.
The guide and wizard I would worship and obey,
my guardian teacher, who knows how to stay

alive on practically nothing in the city
until help comes, usually from a stranger or youth.
Such I am or was who knew no better
but all that I better forget now since I met you

and fell into that pit of the past with no escape.
You knock on the door, and off I go with you
into the night with not even a cent in my pockets,
without caring where or when I get back

But if once you put your hand on my shoulders
as David Rattray did last evening
that would be enough, on the seventh night
of the seventh moon, when Herd Boy

meets the Weaving Lady in heaven
and wanders forever lost in arms
until dawn when you come no more.

From Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners, edited by Joshua Beckman, CAConrad, and Robert Dewhurst © 2015 John Wieners Literary Trust, Raymond Foye, Administrator. Reprinted with the permission of The John Wieners Literary Trust.