It is not so
I am five black lines. so you entangle yourself in me like a treble clef.
though a hurt feeling can be the wrong note that crushes a child’s performance,
it is not so for us. and when your breath enfolds me like a coffin,
and preparing to kiss them, I look at your darkly glimmering eyes
like things I am ashamed of. do not picture the circumcised heart
which berates itself like a phantom limb. or the guessed pattern whose
charm sickly drains. but see instead the ghost painted shut whose intractableness
is only a surface. you hold in your uncompromising fingers, not the cigarette
of praise or the minor chord, unfinishable, but the unopened letter which is
you and I sent back and forth. like a siren caught in a mirror, powerless
through meaning. and color’s decay. then, should we appear to you
like teeth in an unhappy mouth, you will know finally why it is not so. why
drowned men harpoon on reefs like underwater christs.
DANIEL SCHWARTZ is a poet and philosopher living in Somerville, MA.