Maybe a poem would fly from my mouth

if I could remember the words

of a day in the summer when we kissed

beside a frog-filled pond

with the willow tree bowing and

the sun spinning like the wheel of Fatima.


Or if I understood what dogs are saying

when they hail me as I cruise the alleys

or knew what the cat is not-thinking when she

rolls over and languidly closes her eyes.


Maybe a poem could tumble

out of my open white shirt

as I bend down to kiss

the organ-grinder’s monkey

in the painting nobody looks at

behind the wall at the dark museum.


Or if I hold you and ignore our scaling flesh

if I hear how our two spirits whisper

then a few words, spare but sensual,

might linger on my tongue.


Until then I peer around the stove’s corner

searching half-amusedly for an unknown purpose

and I’m waiting for the words to come

I can feel them passing on the all night trains

or floating in the grace-filled sewers of the Lord.