Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lines Toward a Portrait of Want

One grabs at fleeting silver -- shaft of light
like secret thought: mercurially quick --
and utterly without the thickness,
and the breadth, and what you've always
fought to see: a "depth," but cannot
locate in the furtive breaths that pass
in those blue eyes: breathing more than
seeing: it's as if whatever lies inside --

whatever being they lay claim to -- is so
hidden and withheld -- so very powerfully
determined to avert and quell and throw a mist --
that you can only fall back to the humblest
stance of listening: you cannot make
one thing of this: you've only had the very
barest taste of something like the kiss
of an experience of soul. Your rhymester ear

demands you here make coda use
of homonyms: both "whole" and "hole," but
neither sums your hunger up. There is no
question you can pose that would do justice
to one bit of it. If he were Europe and you
were the younger Henry James, you'd
blaspheme all but him, and kneel at his
dark font. But he is lack and you are want.


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