In the morning when I wake
And the sun is coming through,
Oh, you fill my lungs with sweetness,
And you fill my head with you.
--Bloom, The Paper Kites
I am in a crowded room,
a sitting duck in this
thickly populated banquet hall:
I yearn for anonymity,
the speaker says my name--
and I shiver in this nascent
I hold my breath, because I think her voice
It's not. She said my name,
but looked, instead, at you.
Squirming in my seat,
in this dreamy atmosphere.
You watch me from the other side,
a stranger face in a crowd of
I want to raise my hand and call your name,
to force your gaze,
pry it from behind
the formidable fortress of the speaker.
If I could bend the waves of light,
refract them so that your eyes
were bent to look at mine,
then, God help me, so I would,
and bend the iron bars of space
so you and I would see the other
face to face.
I'd tell you what you'd need to hear,
my words would sting your ringing ears,
and your impotent excuses,
your bland and sorry
reasons for her ill-usage
would finally fall dumb.
But you will never say those words,
And she will never see them,
and all my hopes of hearing them
are nothing more than desiccated,
of ordinary midnight day dreams.
I toss and turn and think I am awake,
I check my mailbox, expecting
that you have sent a word--
a word, at least-- to soothe
the hurt of seeing you asleep.
But you are cruel in my imaginary world,
and the only word you deign to whisper
stings my pride.
So, in return,
I paint your portrait in one hundred thousand
false, dissembling colors,
each layer foisted on
by the acrimony of my
vacillating, bent desires.
The blood is pouring into the sink,
she is dismayed to see how
white the skin is.
It is cold in here.
I wish the segment of my dreaming brain
that summons up these ghastly images
I could be extracted with the alacrity
of plucking out
a rogue chin hair.
She watches you, and tries to say,
all the perdonames
of twenty-three years
accumulated on her lip.
Each day, for years, she's longed to look at you,
as she is looking at you now;
and hear you say what you are saying:
that forgiveness is unnecessary
to personages who are so in love as
you and she once were.
But she has never said those words,
and you will never see them.
And all those fictions that you wish were truth
like hail warmed by summer rain,
as your dream fades into
the sunlit morning of her yellow room.