Divan 1

Today, because I feel a sudden urgency
to confide in you, to speak the unspeakable,
to lay bare the difference of man to man,
to provide a cipher for a star
in the company of a universe of stars;
today, because I have an unexpected compulsion
to map the terrible abyss behind your eyes,
to extract the yellow iridescence
from my consciousness and drop it
in the blue cup you drink your coffee from;
today, because I am a man,
and every man sometimes wants
to lease another’s soul and effect a change
so profound that partitions fall,
today, because it is every day
and you are who you are,
I want to extend my will toward you,
to leap across hours and miles,
and pull your greater self
from the debris of your lesser infatuations.

Because it is today, always today,
I have to remind you that your memory
exists also in the white skulls of your ancestors;
because the moment is always before you,
I have to ask, “How many people
must populate the earth before all the dead can live?”
“Can the soul of a wolf take a human form?”
“Does the mare in the field feel embarrassment?”
“Why so much pride?” “Why humility?”
“Why the physical experiment at all?”

Because tomorrow you will sleep
in another bed in another room and dream
of a yesterday that almost happened, I must ask,
“What face is it that you love?”
“Where is the pottery bowl we once ate from?”
and “Why such a thing as a human heart,
why so little mass and so much desire?”