Gods In Disguise
Fulfilling man's ancient dream
to walk on clouds and not fall through,
I touch you.
When you first rested your head against my chest,
I was as broad and strong as a mountainside.
Hello, tongue - I'm a tongue too!
Does my tongue taste like your tongue tastes?
Your belly looked smooth
the first time I saw it in a dark car,
rippled like mother-of-pearl.
Mild surprise in daylight seeing it
pored and hairy like my own.
When I first uncovered your breasts in daylight,
they popped out a bit lop-sided
like two bleary eyes
or a pair of eggs fried sunny-side up.
I kissed each one and watched the nipples harden.
Now they nestled in my hands, proper doves,
but still funny and sad whenever I catch them
looking at me.
The first time you touched it (boldly
it reached out to meet your touch)
gingerly (would it bite?),
wrapped your hand about it awkwardly
(what does one do with it?).
It throbbed gently in your palm.
I was anxious - a mother showing off
her prodigy child - until, "Ummm...
it's nice," you said, smiling,
playing with your toy.
Picking you up in the morning,
touching your thighs first thing
to feel their smoothness
fresh from the sheets.
ah! THERE you are!
In 100 obscure hallways and stairwells
of the university, we stood and touched
what we could touch. While your hands reached
to possess my curious parts as if creating me
out of warm clay, my hands began at your bare calves,
slid up to silk of thighs, over and under
an elastic band to cup you, one cheek
overflowing each hand, as we pulled
our hard pelvises together by our soft bottoms -
and sometimes, when the hallway seemed untraveled,
your skirt and slip would blossom outward
and fall about us again to find
kiss of curl against curl,
warm rain of mingled pulses
and the wide-open giving and oyster-shut taking
of the pearl of me,
and O! we ripen, we ripen -
is this how a flower blossoms?
Are we moaning or singing?
And who is hard and who is soft?
All the while eyes meet mine
and what strange being through them
greets each of the 10,000 things we become -
O! Hello! hello! hello! hello! hello!
The next day at school there you'd be,
a girl walking down the hallway -
I'd play at hanging onto that ordinariness,
but from a hundred yards away,
your smile would find mine,
and like the Cheshire cat,
you and I and the rest of the world
would materialize about our joined smile.
We made love in the car.
Afterwards, in the men's room of the pizza place
(stench of rotten wood), taking a piss,
the smell of you still on me,
my penis and I are gods
traveling among men in humble disguises.
Afterwards, hungry, we pulled into a MacDonalds.
Heads in four other cars sharing our lot
at the rainbow's end turned and stared.
"Is young love, well-done, so rare?" I thought.
Returning to the car with 100% bags of bunned beef,
I saw what I'd tossed out the car window
a half hour earlier clinging to the door
by its sticky reservoir tip.
Afterwards, laughing, we thought,
"So that's who we are now!"
Anywhere you scratch - that's where the itch is.
My love touched me again and again,
never touching the same body twice.
Those soft twin eggs you are joggling about
in their wrinkled shell hang out of me
as vulnerable as a toenail, a finger or a nose,
and yet no surgeon's blade could reach as far into me
as now your fingers penetrate.
Together we become lords of our bodies,
and it is only out of love
that we each choose to be
precisely where the other touches.
Wherever the child peeps out his head,
mother spots him and says "Peekaboo!"
until they cannot stop laughing.
Touching your body with new familiarity,
I imagine my own tongue is being used
by some alien intelligence to explore
the surface of my teeth.
O! - the ear can't stand to be licked -
I was just wondering why it never tickles
when you touch me, when you got the strangest
grin, and I had to grab your hands...
You are the mysterious elephant -
my fingers play blindmen to more than ten of you,
and when I open my eyes to admire this marvel,
someone I have never touched
is admiring me.
It puzzles me
where birds go to die
and where you go when you come.
We touch and touch each other,
yet are not what we touch.
By what miracle have we escaped the trap,
that we are bodies
so that we can touch each other,
but are not our bodies,
so that there is someone to touch?
And we laugh to recognize each other -
and you, old friend, how strange
to see you with tits and cunt;
and I - what have I to do
with that stiff handle?
(And yet each touch, each touch -
how we are touched!)
We lie side by side in the dusk,
looking down the pearled curves of our bellies,
to our navels, our twin hillocks of hair,
prairies of hip and thight,
sloping away as far as we wish,
making distances intimate.
Our legs twine and untwine.
an elm at the window records the twistings
of our love in slow motion.
We watch the white stuff creaming out of me
onto your fingers, tightened as if
to trap the throbs.
Coming together, falling, falling -
holding on tight so we don't drift apart,
Afterwards you are amused to see
the skin of my balls tightening and loosening
"all by themselves"
like the purring of a cat.
Strange - I'd never noticed.
You pull my cock back on my belly
to tickle its underside (Good Doggie) -
see it resist! The damn thing has
its own vanities.
"It won't stand up any more, poor thing" -
Whoops! Wrong again.
Together in our abundance;
the clock beside the bed
no longer ticks our time away,
but stores up each second to our credit -
Tick - we got another one!
Tick - we are rich!
Tick tick tick tick tick...
Sometimes I come into you a child snuggling up in warm blankets,
sometimes a hammer pounding nails,
sometimes a playful seal diving for fish,
sometimes a cellist slowly, toruously drawing bow across string,
sometimes a cloud sprouting lightning,
sometimes a cat's tongue lapping milk,
sometimes a finger testing a hot stove,
sometimes a mountain climber almost to the top,
sometimes a sword eager to be sheathed,
sometimes a prodigal son, home at last,
sometimes a bomb about to explode,
sometimes a worm escaping a robin,
sometimes a grub-hunting woodpecker,
sometimes a master to his estate,
sometimes a lackey begging favors,
sometimes butter melting in a pan,
sometimes as if pushing through a thicket, wary of snapping branches.
sometimes a swaddled thing to be stripped bare,
sometimes a nakedness to be clothed, [continued]
sometimes a baby kicking up his feet,
sometimes a god, aloof and void,
sometimes a scrawny gamin in a gutter, hot and quick,
sometimes one in a coupling of constellations,
sometimes a hurt to be soothed,
sometimes an itch to be scratched,
sometimes a hate to ravage,
sometimes bearing a fragile gift,
sometimes a blood sacrifice,
sometimes an explorer, tentative, then bold,
sometimes an old friend dropping by to say hello,
sometimes the farewell of a dying man,
sometimes a gourmet savoring this and that,
sometimes a man tiptoing into a cathedral,
sometimes a Viking raider desecrating a holy place,
sometimes to refresh myself in a running stream,
sometimes a pig rooting in mud,
sometimes a metronome,
sometimes a jack-in-the-box,
sometimes a guillotine,
sometimes a cook stirring a pudding,
sometimes a doctor probing and palpating,
sometimes an idler stirring up the muddy bottom of a creek,
sometimes a giddy babe sucking up sensation,
sometimes an artist creating, giving away sensation,
sometimes a child showing off a new toy to a friend,
sometimes a man with no future, each stroke swallowing him,
sometimes a destiny, stroking out the years,
sometimes a child cherishing a baby bird,
sometimes a baby bird, cherished by a child,
sometimes a piston engine,
sometimes a wind moving in waves through a meadow,
sometimes a glacier, timelessly,
sometimes a sparrow's heartbeat,
sometimes as if spreading out in the sun,
sometimes as if huddling into a winter coat,
sometimes all man, fist-tight and penetrating,
sometimes a woman, wide open and given,
sometimes a body into a body - animals in heat,
sometimes one poem exchanged for another, the two poets smiling
the while at their creations.
When I finished the orange,
you nuzzled my beard and told me
I smelled like an orange.
You smiled at my naked profile by the bed
and said I looked like a kidney bean.
After sex, felling distance (I had come
and you hadn't), I mumbled "Thank you."
You said, "Don't thank me, thank Rinnie."
Though loving is the point, not being loved,
being loved is also convenient:
Without your love to give me star billing
on your neural networks and guarantee me
a full house, I don't know how I would ever manage
to share with you my joy in me being me
and you being you.
We've bedewed everything that sticks out
with everything that sticks in,
but you catch my hands when I start to
muss your hair.
Your cunt is such a sloppy-looking thing -
cunningly disguised precision, for I stroke
it's little knob, no matter how lightly,
and a signal leaps in your eyes
way up here.
I kiss your cunt and wallow in it
and you begin to lick my balls.
Then we stop to look at each other
and laugh - we two persons, we're
I run my fingers from the tail of your spine
along the seam of you, the messy groove,
dipping into anus, lightly over dragon's tail
up into velvet of labia, at each move
of my fingers, your fingers dancing
as lightly, lightly on me - spring rain
disturbing each taut bud.
Coming in very slowly,
my eyes meeting yours,
seeing each other in twin mirrors and together
calmly wiretapping the hotline
of lightning traffic back and forth
between our slowly joining clouds,
until I am hilted home light as leaf
touching grass-tips, and we moan
at 33 and 1\3 RPM, eyes still, barely, meeting,
bodies extending gently to join nerve networks
with the street outside, the cat in the next room,
trees swaying outside our window
tangled with stars.
We were almost coming when I said,
"Whats a girl like you doing in a place like this?"
We had to start all over.
We hold each other against each other
and just rock.
Lying side by side afterwards
in shared space whose boundaries
glowed beyond our looking, we,
motionless, traded bodies and feelings
back and forth like bubble-gum baseball cards.
When the cat jumped up on the bed -
we became her instantly.
There were no boundaries: we grew and grew,
leaving our bodies to fall asleep
on the hurtling rim of a small galaxy.
Waking up lying against each other -
our flesh that thrilled at first contact
grown dull and familiar in our absence
like mutual pajamas.
Sex is only the Alice-and-Jerry language of love
(See the girl, see the boy, come and see, come come come) -
the first primer.
Yes, our bodies are too solid
to be mere metaphors -
but that is precisely why,
though we mold their solidities
into all the arabesques of love,
they are at best metaphors
for our infinite variety.
We just look and look and look and don't touch each other -
"Your face just disappeared."
"I know - so did yours."
One hand on each of your hips,
only 16 inches separating them -
in these hands I could lose the earth like a marble.
Bounce Bounce Bounce Bounce
With every bounce she gives a groan,
and I am hard and merciless,
but far away - and my arms are tiring.
How did I get into this?
When the barrier came between us,
love-making became an effort
to touch and be touched in just the right way in the right place,
and the love you could no longer receive from my touch
congealed around me in icy layers.
Later, when you cried, telling me you'd been
having an affair, I felt layer after layer
shiver and crack and myself flowing away,
going, going downstream with creak and crunch of blue ice,
bird chirps, grass rustling.
You are still the basic you
of my grammar.
Years later, out walking,
I watched a stream
through stark autumn twigs,
what IS it about this feeling?
A chipmunk darted away almost at my feet.
I know! This is how I felt
about her... - is this, then, love?
But who is here to love?
Hello, hello, whoever you are from whomever I am.
Fallen leaves and words dance for me.
I am a lover.
Nothing is ever lost.
This tenderness for each other
that, seeking communications,
bends our bodies into its alien alphabet,
also shapes my words to poems,
twines sun and earth into blades of grass.
When the communication is stopped,
it hardens in the warp,
leaving our bodies petrified,
our words blunt instruments,
the earth a desert.
Have I left something unsaid?
You were someone special, it is true,
with gestures, expressions
(even a solitary hair on the right breast)
that I cherished. But perhaps
people I have never met will read these poems
and understand them. To be able to write,
I have had to create their presence.
Unknown their gestures, yet
they are with me as I write,
as they, as you read. This too
is the loving I speak of.
Reader, I cannot see you, and
words are shadow fingers, but...