The needful thing is missing from the day
but everyone proceeds as though it’s fine
— like when we waited for the nightingale
and all we heard was the army firing range;
or when the bridegroom failed to find the ring
fumbling in the shallows of his pockets
till the priest ventured an exchange in the wording:
without this ring I wed thee anyway;
or when the iron crown of Monza
with its one nail from the true cross
was not at hand for Henry’s coronation
but in a pawnshop somewhere in Milan.
(From Ink Stone, 2003)
Sleep on my chosen one it's only me,
intent as a Madagascan sloth that moves
through the tall twilight of mahogany,
padding down the wall towards your pillowcase
and the hollows of your neck I ache for.
Lifting one knee, you shape a linen vault
that frees the scent of nard and nightflowers.
Does my dark disturb you, sweetheart, do you dream
of the rooftree burdened by a roost of bats,
your outline inscaped by their squeaky jargon?