A Dream Not Tasted

Let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon.
Dance Me To The End of Love.      Leonard Cohen

When I was young, you were a dream not tasted.
Now you rest here thin and savory
with hair so fine it flies and skin so smooth
that marble cracks from envy.  Those eyes. Those eyes.

I long to love again as I once loved.  To love
so longitudinal, protracted and intuitive that self
fuses into self and magic wraps the sweating soul
in twisted sheets.  I want to look again
on sleeping face and know the triumph of the body.

Well.  Well.  I stroke your cheek.
Lines etch my forehead, and my face
is scored by age.  Veins protrude
from arms and hands, and fingers bend
in pain from winter.  So,
I tell you only what I know:
I am dead,
and I lie.

Navis Longa

(Latin. feminine. idiom. ‘man-of-war’. A 3-decked galley used to ram an enemy’s ship, powered by rowers who were slaves, criminals, debtors, political prisoners.)

Form up.
Move down.  Shift.
New units board.  Move along.
New wars with names we can’t pronounce.
Old gods pulled down
and homes abandoned.
Make room.  New labor boards.

Heat. Cold. Salt spray and dark.
Foul air to breathe.
Did you expect
a banquet to be laid for you?
Form up.  Move down.

When muscles tire and backs give out,
the great sea waits, merciful sea.
Move down.  Shift.