Ballade in F Minor
Love stands and is quiet in the brusque drawing
room, the oily hollow chest heaves and the rusted bars

speak in their time-captured bronze, a radiant tone
chromatic and fluent in the light of late afternoon,

the winged thing, under our eyes, kept from knowing itself,
and love is the best thing, the most riveting and tasteless;

it took you over like the gray cadence of a thunderstorm,
composed eyes riveted to so many French windows

to find out what would come out: what manner of words heard
only in memory, a life, slow breath in strange summer rain—

and was it that something so rare found its way
so deep into you so quickly that you disappeared

into the brusque space between lips, parched a little black
with teeth pressed against them in a shy freedom

but still soft with some kind of love, tasting of fine salt
and old lavender gone unmistakably rough, though lovely

still to the curious feminine soul in you, into the
space between guarded words that stand as unassuming

as aged lilac posing against the open bay window;
I want you, almost, I want your eyes, almost speaking

clearly with the august, lilting laugh that is still
so young and that lasts all this gray August afternoon

and could never be lost on my rust-tinged soul, within
whose bronze loneliness the sound of your delicate

breathing is almost a gift, when I can hear your
amber-eyed song like the rest of the world, the

winged freedom for a moment within the bowers
of my brusque body, and I'd rather not speak many words,

like the lingering white and blue birds on a black leaded wire,
standing against the frayed velvet fabric of dusk, or a lingering minor

in the strange, amber landscape of your ballroom-band eyes,
and, almost, it is enough to remark the gold color there and seem free.

You are a bird on a wire whose music I can only see.