to fold the clothes. No matter who lives
or who dies, I’m still a woman.
I’ll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt
together. Nothing can stop
our tenderness. I’ll get back
to the poem. I’ll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there’s a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it’s done.
A very few—a Bird or two—
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies resume
The old—old sophistries of June—
A blue and gold mistake.
Oh fraud that cannot cheat the Bee—
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief.
Till ranks of seeds their witness bear—
And softly thro’ the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf.
Oh Sacrament of summer days,
Oh Last Communion in the Haze—
Permit a child to join.
Thy sacred emblems to partake—
Thy consecrated bread to take
And thine immortal wine!
"It was the well-known route: through the lagoon, past San Marco, up the Grand Canal. Aschenbach sat on the circular bench in the bows, with his elbow on the railing, one hand shading his eyes. They passed the Public Gardens, once more the princely charm of the Piazzetta rose up before him and then dropped behind, next came the great row of palaces, the canal curved, and the splendid marble arches of the Rialto came in sight. The traveller gazed—and his bosom was torn. The atmosphere of the city, the faintly rotten scent of swamp and sea, which had driven him to leave—in what deep, tender, almost painful draughts he breathed it in! How was it he had not known, had not thought, how much his heart was set upon it all!" —Thomas Mann, "Death in Venice"
We find out the heart only by dismantling what the heart knows. By redefining the morning, we find a morning that comes just after darkness. We can break through marriage into marriage. By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond affection and wade mouth-deep into love. We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars. But going back toward childhood will not help. The village is not better than Pittsburgh. Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh. Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound of racoon tongues licking the inside walls of the garbage tub is more than the stir of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not enough. We die and are put into the earth forever. We should insist while there is still time. We must eat through the wildness of her sweet body already in our bed to reach the body within the body.