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Romanticism (the Blue Keats)

I want a terrace of bamboo. A stuttering harp.

A garden fitted with a grotto and gimp hermit.

I want to lose my last name in the crickets

Coupling beneath my feet. I want the body’s burden,

Four more angels to drag through the streets

Of a city that finds the monkey sacred, the fool careful,

The monk dumb. I want a painting of persimmons

And a persimmon. I want the violence of my love

To leave my sleep and my lover alone. I am dedicated

To the same baffled heart I have always carried.

The diamonds and mud of my mouth. The midsummer

Lurching toward the late-summer heat that will kill

The sage and tomato plants tanning on the veranda.

I want the water and the leg my uncle lost coming from the well.

If one body will hide another and call this hiding love,

I want to always torture myself with another’s wet borders.

An ankle clicking against an ankle. The wrists fettered.

There was something I knew before this. Before my hands

Tore at the ropes, snapped cedar poles and ripped the silk

Of any tent I lay in. I want to know how the savage

Wind loves the house it destroys. I want to know before

I am both house and savage wind, before all of the tents

In the city become tattered rags snagged in the hair

Of our children and the redheaded trees. I am careful

To want nothing that I cannot lose and be sad in the losing.

A terrace made of rotting bamboo. A harp lost in its singing.

My last name and the tomatoes falling from the vine. Woman,

I want this plum heart. And the dying that makes us possible.

from King MeFind it in the library

Copyright © 2013 Roger Reeves
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Roger Reeves

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