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
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,
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
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