love song ~erasure

Let us go then, you and I,

evening is spread upon a table;

Let us go,

muttering retreats, Of restless nights

in cheap hotels with oyster-shells:

a tedious argument Of insidious intent


To lead

overwhelming question …

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”


Let us go

and make the women come


rubs its back upon the -panes,

rubs its muzzle

Licked its tongue

into the corners

the evening, Lingered upon

the pools that fall upon its back

that falls Slipped


the sudden leap,

And seeing

it was a soft October night,

Curled, and fell asleep. indeed


Time: smoke that slides along

Rubbing upon the -panes;

There will be time, there will be time


To face. To meet: the faces

There will be time

to murder and create,

time: for all the works


and days. That lift and drop

a question

Time for you and me,

time for a hundred indecisions,

for visions and revisions,

Before the taking toast and tea.


In the room, women come


time To wonder, “Do I dare?”


“Do I dare?”


Time turn back and descend the stair,

My morning , mounting firmly

My rich and modest, asserted by a simple pin —

Do I dare



In a minute, is there time?

decisions and revisions

a minute will reverse.


I have known

all already, known them all:

the evenings, mornings, afternoons,

measured out my life with coffee spoons;

the voices dying with dying

Beneath the music

should I presume?


I have known the eyes already, known them all—

eyes that fix a formulated phrase,

And when formulated, sprawling on a pin,

pinned and wriggling on the wall,

Then how should I begin

To spit out all the butt-ends of my ways?

And how should I presume?


I have known the arms already, known them all—

Arms white and bare in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)

Is it perfume from a dress Arms that lie, or wrap about

And should I then presume?

And how should I begin?


gone at dusk

narrow And watched

the smoke that rises

lonely leaning out of windows? …


I should have a pair , ragged claws

Scuttling across silent seas.


And the afternoon, the evening,

Smoothed by long fingers,

Asleep … tired … or it malingers,

Stretched on the floor,

here you and me.

Should I Have the strength to

force the moment ,its crisis?


I have wept , fasted, prayed,

I have seen my head

brought in upon a platter,

I am no prophet —no great matter;


I have seen the moment

my greatness flicker,

I have seen the eternal hold my coat, and snicker,

And in short, afraid.


would it have been worth it,

you and me,

Would it have been worth while,

bitten off the matter with a smile,

To have squeezed the ball

some overwhelming question,


To say: Come back to tell you, I shall tell all”—

If one, settling her head

“That is not what I meant at all;

not it, at all.”


And would after all,

have been worth while,

After the sunsets the dooryards sprinkled streets,

After the novels, , after the skirts that trail along the floor—

this, and so much more?—

impossible to say just what I mean! as if a magic

threw patterns on a screen:worth while

one, settling And turning

“That is not it at all,

That is not what I meant, at all.”


No! I am not nor meant to be;

attendant lord, will do

To swell, start a scene or two,

the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,

Deferential, be of use,

Politic, cautious, and meticulous;

high but a bit obtuse;

At times, indeed, ridiculous—

Almost, at times, the Fool.

Do I dare to eat a peach?

wear white, and walk upon the beach.

the mermaids singing, sing to me.


I have seen them riding

the waves white

of the waves blown back


the wind blows

white and black.

We lingered, in chambers of sea-girls

red and brown

Till voices wake us, and we drown.


Amanda Potter©: 2019 Poetry Marathon

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