Seem Tame

Falls blue. Time, it is that small
silver weight in my hand, cool
as a pebble damp grass smoothes— 

now quiet the rustling, crossing
of legs, coy bangles clattering
like little bells of tin, long minute

spent smoothing my wrinkled brocade
as the strum starts under the song—
I’ve gone up this path five times

and gone down four, hear me out—
when you rise in the last morning,
in the shrinking hour thick

with smoke of yeast and sugar,
think of me. Not my face—
overcast with leafed lanterns swaying, 

forest above town greener
as just before rain and just after,
until out of each paper sphere a bird

breaks, flocks, and all life looks up,
taut like drum-skin
a handful of earth clatters onto, 

specks into eyes turning down
sloping back into the city—
that crust I can hook out

in the mornings, first thing,
small seeds hard as seconds
between my fingers . . . 

And what has been within me
is true, just as I wanted.
Wanted a field of dissent settling

as roan ridden into slow grass,
mottle-coat of lustring
and the throat-cut string still vibrating—

wanted unsteady. Wanted fall,
but it was winter before we reached
the middle. Wanted the pearly hum of

beginning set into a silver bezel,
wanted to be thought mastered, thought
wanted, pendular, yours. For a moment.