®

Today's poem is by A. E. Watkins

Orpheus, to No One but Himself
       

From here, the moon is a manhole to streets
we climb toward — its cover coming crescent,

the crescent waning closed.
Then your hand tightens in mine. Your silence says

my name and turns me to absence.
But walking this townís dark where you arenít, the pressure

in my palm isnít nothing, nor ceasing.
By morning, the feel of your fingers flickers to blackbirds,

makes for the thickets. All day their flurry
of quarter-rests crochets in the park, inaugurates

your auspices I gather. Eurydice, my eyes play your flocks
recoded in the coppice while the dark blue shades

assemble about me — a pell-mell of poplars and lampposts,
old-brick apartment shaped shadows.

My mouth opens to call you and a bitter river
just rolls out. So I seethe about town. My head spills you all over

again. I bellow your name to the gutters, the sewers
murmuring wherefore, all throughout the underground.

I try to float you here, and in the underwater blur
the trees nearly pull you off, but you abash

too easy when I near you. You return to abandon,
and my darling, when I call you, I need you to come closer,

no matter how uncertain your skin.
Iím headed off all drifted and orphaned, and I know

this song only carries me elsewhere,
its notes will only displace you.

I know my head is all feverish winter;
itís a northwest passage I am trying to break through.



Copyright © 2012 A. E. Watkins All rights reserved
from Dear, Companion
Dream Horse Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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