If Only to Decorate as Friends

Robert Lietz

                  So      the arrangements      double      / treble now–

            served      with the drinks      served neat

                 / dooms      two      peeled back      –more      strange

            the more      the year      turns      marvelous–

                  and      love      –in      its      autumn finishing      –in

            starbright      winking      frosts

                 and     secrecies      –until      the heart's      irrelevant –

            let sit      / let      fill      its plate

                 with      the indifference      –given     away      too soon,

            having said     / made much

                 of      neighborly      and      exercise.   Could we imagine

            counting      apples      –even less–

                  imagine      ease      and      comforting      –two

             with their needs on straight–

                 playing      these      woolen mice      / these      ceramic

            majorettes      –these      clear      striped balls

                  she'd      hung       herself      how many seasons–

            completing      the brisk geometry–

                 and these fields      that run again with influence

            to families      –emptying     away     

                 to      soloists      –to      one      especially–

            and      one      –having

                 touched      her      some      –chasing

            home      in      the long nights

                 and      night-flights     

            over water?

                 Too late      / too many      wines.   Too      little

            in      catholic      mantras

                 for       reference       to settle.   And too late maybe–

            seeing      in      winter skies

                 this      splendid hoop       of constellations     

            / this wand of galaxy      / this surface     

                 stirred bright clouds       a turning knob transmogrifies–

            there       in the night-time sky      –below

                  the night-time sky     –where      all      that      airy     

            float       must disengage      –failing

                 in      grips      and      head-to-head      improvisations

            / in her averted eyes      –that     

                  I      might seem      like      anything.   No carolers

            please tell      –no      half-song

                 brooded      / weighing in      –chords made up

            to seem like public minimals      –

                 proving      we asked some things      besides

            the wine a woman borrowed      –

                 besides      the deliveries      / creamed     

            teas      –besides     

                 her own      and      flickering      

             but      sharpened