I Would Know You

I would know you.

Tho we have never met,

I have dreamed our conjunction.

Only your face I cannot make out,

But, no matter, I would know you.

 

I would know you by your walk,

By the swing of hip and shoulder,

The familiarity of your stride.

 

Would you know me?

Let us say you would not;

You are so much younger.

 

I would watch you write a note,

The same underlining, the same slurs.

I would hold my breath as you read,

As when I see you walk in,

That searching gaze,

 

That sudden smile.

Would you know me?

 

If we should meet and embrace,

Your breath on my ear,

I would kiss your hair, your throat.

 

We would talk of obscure things;

You would laugh, “how alike we are!”

 

Would you know me, then?

 

When we would next embrace,

When we would be face to face,

And if, surprised, we would be mouth to mouth,

 

Would I have the courage, then,

To tell you who I am?

 

 

 

 

 

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Pepsodent Smile

Some time ago, I posted “Lambs”, about a beauty parlour for little little girls.  The girl in this piece could be a survivor of that.

 

Little girl, straight from 1955;

Striped summer frock, cardigan,

White shoes, bare legs, and

Elegantly coiffed.

 

Mother to the woman,

She will stand beside her walk-in closet,

And say, “Tah-dah!”

 

Or just maybe,

She is a spy in the house of convention,

Lying in wait with her Pepsodent smile.

 

 

Gratitude

I passed you in the mall;

You were pushing a stroller;

You held a small boy by the hand.

 

I caught your eye,

Though I didn’t mean to,

Or, perhaps,

It was the other way round.

 

     So, in an instant,

     All our history passed before me:

     Our casual meeting…

     I needed a place to sit;

     You had an empty chair…

     Our first quiet talk,

     Sorting each other out…

     You are not merely being polite;

     I am not a serial killer…

     The first time we really looked,

     And felt the space between dissolve,

     First kiss, first embrace,

     First clumsy tangling,

     Laughing curses at clothing,

     Our first night, knowing

     It was the first,

     First child,

     And here I am,

     Not caring what comes next,

     As long as it is with you.

 

All this in a moment,

A moment in a busy mall,

A moment like a wildflower

Stumbled across in a thatch of weeds,

And passed,

With only gratitude to mark the moment.

 

 

    

Look Across

My  alter-ego Balthusian finds himself in a moment of tender realization.  (he recovers, and will be back) 

           Look Across

These two wipe mudless feet, pawing like mares.

Their sweatpants shift in that almost dance.

They stand in that oh so easy, so

Artless, strange contortion.  It’s

A mystery that, known only

To  young girls waiting at a counter,

There celebrated, and only there.

They see the large man and the small girl.

The small girl holding his hand, gazing up.

They smile at the small girl.

They were there, once a dream ago,

But now they tete a tete,

Sipping cold water through straws,

Smoothing cream cheese on toasted bagels.

That large man with the small girl,

Balthusian knows his days are numbered.

Too soon, the small girl will not look up;

She, too, will look across.

Another from Anais Nin

Quoted in the novel   he’s gone….by Deb Caletti,  this great quote from Anais Nin:

 

We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.

 

Balthusian’s Love Song

I have a number of alter-egos.  Balthusian is one of them.

 

            Balthusian’s Love Song

 

You never surfed, or went by freighter;

I never left dripping when I overturned;

We recovered, and thought no more of tulips.

 

All things are erotic by moonlight;

Our encounter was no surprise, then.

Our bodies were polarized.

 

When we had finished I let go the blind;

It rattled like a passing train;

We ignored the scenery over breakfast.

 

I never pressed the shutter, you know.

Of course you do;  I know these things.

If this was a dream, it can recur.

 

I remember the back seat for gum wrappers.

You come to notice such oddments.

We lay together, ordinary as a carpet.

 

We died our little deaths so often,

Our lives were measured out in pomegranates.

 

 

From Anais Nin

I found this great addition to my Quotations I Like  page in A Spy in the House of Love…by Anais Nin.

 

Guilt is the one burden human beings cannot bear alone.

Rhonda Poem 7: Postlude: Yule

This is the final Rhonda poem.  There is no happy ever after…there is only memory.

 

It is over.

And whatever we have done

Is buried in snow, vanished in drift;

Winter is merciful.

 

By the time the thaw reveals the past,

I will be ready to look upon what remains

Without desire,

Without regret;

 

Memory undefiled by mourning.

Rhonda Poem 6: Samhain

We sat in the car outside her house.

She had guests, so I could not go in.

After a time, I switched off the radio,

And we looked out the window

At the full moon and the clear sky.

We dozed.

 

When we awoke, it had snowed;

The windows were covered, the car dark.

As one, we wildly opened our doors,

Stood trembling on opposite sides of the car.

 

That night we kissed a strange kiss;

It would soon be over.

 

When I phoned later, she was out

She did not return my call.

 

We have met since,

But do not speak of our days.

 

Snow, snow on the windshield…

It still saddens.

Rhonda Poem 5: Lugnasad

“All this is ours”

She waved at the hills of grain.

We stood in the farm yard, ringed by poplars,

(All the same height, planted as a wind-break)

Magpies squawked overhead;

We walked to the barn, and waved to her parents.

 

“No, no saddle.”

She haltered the little buckskin, mounted.

I clambered up behind her.

We walked out of the yard, into the fields.

The house disappeared behind a rise.

I let my grip on her waist slip upward;

I cupped a breast.

 

She flailed back, laughing as I fell off.

She turned, sat sidesaddle, took off her tee-shirt,

Then gracefully, whipped off the rest,

Tossing her clothes to me.

“Lead him,” she said, and passed me the reins.

Carrying her clothes, I walked into the grain.

 

I looked back.

She sat tall, golden skin glowing,

Her red-blonde hair floating in the sun–

She seemed to grow from the ripening wheat.

 

“Will he stay?” I asked.

“Yes.”  She slid from the horse.

 

As I lay on her, I said:

“This ought to be in spring, in the furrows,

For a good harvest.”

She squeezed my sides;

“Now,” she said, “for gratitude.”

“Gratitude?  For what?”

“You fool,” she said

And hugged.