GOLD AND SILVER
History lines up its legions of men.
In the caves and sepulchers, millions and
Millions of skulls have been abandoned
By the spirit. The boats ground
Away in senseless battle and forgotten
Empires. All the cities have left
This earth long ago. There are a few
Stars on distant islands.
What constitutes a caress?
What does eternity forget?
The rain always continues somewhere,
Much as a dream chooses to function.
An amorphous light begins within
Our bones. It is full of gold and
Silver, wonders all, as are these
Sunsets, these cool epics.
I reach out to touch your hair,
Your skin, your rings of desire.
I am surrounded by great tigers.
When we went into the grasslands
The grass was so tall it was impossible
To find any camps at all.
"Night," said Ramon. "Wait until Night."
The camps became visible but were still
Difficult to approach.
By the time we arrived
All of them were gone
"Make palm prints in the sand
At every campsite," said Ramon.
That night we ate peccary that
Suddenly emerged from near where
We had established a center.
"We will see them tomorrow," he said.
Sure enough, they had surrounded our
Camp during the night. We were very
Happy to see them. They looked
Like a bunch of poets trying to outdo
Each other with a magnificence
Of language, dances, performances—
The heart above everything
Beating, beating, beating.
Midnight aches its way in.
My body doesn’t want to know
Anything more today. Sorrow is inexhaustible,
Brings its own drums, walks around
With a huge abundance of time.
I have a hard time recognizing my brothers.
The labyrinth reshapes itself
Every ten steps. I am an echo.
A skin of no consequence
Stretched over an alphabet
That wanders off into Milton
Or Dante or Borges or stomps
Into Patrick Grizzell and I can
Feel how precious everything really is.
I can see midnight sitting at a small
Table near the bar, sipping whiskey.
I am too slow to greet it.
It begins to disassemble itself
Like a violated country where
I have been forced into conversation.
The tide moves back
To speak to the ocean.
Oh but the sea has no mind.
There are too many details.
You are at every shore.
There are so few steps
Worth noting. Everything
Is expected. These tides
Are their own clocks.
Time is unconscious. The tides
Have their own little baskets;
They forget there are fish
Swimming through them.
We will never know all
That is their opium. There are
Too many waves,
Nothing is engraved upon the sand.
The best we can refine
Is that we are not yet dead.
The rain was small.
We almost didn’t notice it.
We were looking for the moon,
Maybe a star or two, but certainly
Not this kind of darkness.
When we realized we were
Actually inside the box, things
Became clear. We were the gift.
Our eyes had been closed too
Tightly. I ran my hands over
Your face and felt your eyes
As they opened. There was a wind
On our faces. One or two stars
Began to fool around with us.
I don’t know where the song
Came from, but by the time
We could hear it well,
We knew all the words.
There is a beautiful song coming out of you tonight, Patrick.
The swirl of memory comes into our cells totally uninvited
And renews those chemical trails to our brains and our emotions.
We do recall the directions, but the buildings are gone, the people are gone.
The perfection of memory residing in a few neurons
That may at any moment be eaten by an errant protein,
And there we are, sitting, trying to get the old man to have a sip of water,
Hoping he will tell us more about it.
He can show us his old rifle,
What remained of the path through the woods
To the edge of the meadow, but there is no longer any lighting.
Birds fly from one end of his mind to another.
He watches them and is unable to recount
The steps that brought him to this place.
There seems to be no room left for time any longer.
It could be now, or that last minute, or something
Seen from a car window when he was in high school.
We can kiss his forehead.
We can listen to the tuneless singing.
We can speak to each other,
Pretending to tell the stories.
All of them.
I had gone into the room
To pick up my tool belt and leather jacket.
Everything in the place
Had her name on it.
THE RAIN STORM
We're going to get drenched
In this storm, I said.
We had better take off
Our clothing. But it was
Already much too late.