Couplets (“By protean means propinquity/Inspires not range but unity”)

Though you draw first by chemotaxis,
Perfume is not all your praxis:
Boundless breathings enter me,
And other atoms splinter me,
And rustlings nestle in my ear
Before hair pricks my atmosphere,
And twin eyes spool me up like twine
Till magnet motion moors the spine
And thorns of being stop each pore—
My skin says there is room for more,
And reeling with each fresh impact
Our two expanding worlds contract.

Bits for a Hot and Cold July

Chocolate
All the chocolate in my father’s shop
Melted that Irish heat-wave week into
Small-scale magmatic floods the window
Pelted with heat in unrelenting drop
Drop by softening drop they unformed all
Into ruination and my father pelted
Windowless-wrappered bars into the small
Shop fridge to be newly unmelted

Remains
The ice desires to flow and be
Water again (the cold remains);
It’s frozen still, though almost in
That shape it had when lately free

On Reading the Classics

I read Homer and have a thought
Perhaps that Plato also had,
Marvel at Horatian odes
That Marvell loved centuries ago,
Admire a line as did Augustus,
Thinking Virgil did him justice,
Esteem some sentiment in Ovid
Which that same Caesar lamented,
Laugh at Shakespeare like the rabble
In Elizabethan taverns,
Smile at Sappho like a slave
Who hears her singing from a grove,
Commune with minds famous and lost,
And add my echo to the host.

words

              words
echo with the ghosts
of almost wholly-lost
              worlds
                            but for them
                            nothing remains
                                         at all—nothing
              words hold
though only airily
              the fragile bones
of yesterday
                           loose as breath
                           but holding yet
                                          and tightening