The Fourth Georgic
Sometimes a dolphin in captivity will take
one last look around, close its eyes, and sink
to the bottom of the tank.
At the beach, we just wanted to know
why the seaweed was heaping
itself onto the shore in thick slick silks.

When we started out, to protect myself
I said, marriage is a set of limitations,
but something about all the wires
cutting into the visual realm
suggested new forms:
clouds rose dense and vertical,
the horizon drew breath,
had mass—aren’t we two small bodies in wild space,
one organ in love with the earth?

We sat in the sun and felt its steady
stroke a sweetness beneath our skin.
Soon, we would go inside, kiss each other’s eyes—
make, as is said, love.
But first I wanted to read you
the story of the bees, which is also a story of bulls.
The story is told twice, once
as a series of imperatives and again
so that the real ending is always beginning:

Everywhere in the bellies of the victims
Bees buzzing in fermenting viscera
And bursting forth from the ruptured sides in swarms
That drift along like enormous clouds in the sky
And come together in the top of the tree
And hang in clusters from the swaying branches.

There were no trees on that island
but the salt-spray burned white,
an image in negative against the blueness of sky.
We looked out from the porch
as if from some great vantage point
as the wind rushed in on invisible pinions.
The water, if we were willing
to swim out far enough, seemed clear.
But the wind made talking unpredictable:
we didn’t know what we were hearing.
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