Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I found him on the beach, half-starved on his driftwood
raft, barely able to form the sound of his own name.
Once he could, I heard his story, broke bread for him,
hardly gave him credence, led him to the palace
nonetheless. Nausicaa came later. But the day
I recovered overnamed Odysseus, naked
but for a leafy loincloth and flotsammed beard,
became the night I met you. Everyone we knew
crammed in a sandy cove, the bonfire's drowsy light,
the big man's susurrent tone, lulled me to agony.
I was ready to grab a bottle and vamoose

when I caught your steady, uninterested gaze
and the universal two-finger sign for 'smoke?'
You asked who he thought he was, whether his story
were fiction or recollection, his or someone elses,
what difference it made? And answer were overlong,
but mine was studied, earnest, and as far beyond
my recall as your pine-green shawl, your eyes pine-green,
even his raven-ish beard and his hands tucked behind
himself like a raven, weren't. These fragments coalesced
one night in dream as a sensuous whole. As for all
that happened next, you remember as well as I.

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