No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweetFrom chain-swung censer teeming;No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heatOf pale-mouth’d prophet dreaming– Keats, Ode to Psyche
I press ten cold toes to your shins under the covers
and bask in your shiver, bask in a lover’s grace.
Submerged in duvet to sink from the crack
of groceries and lawnmowers that arch
through the spray paint on the bay window.
Smile at the precarious beauty
perched on your mid-winter nose,
red-breasted perfection of glass-blown rose,
and freckled transience.
With incense breathed into your hair,
sighing smoke-rings from my air
you sing in the shell of my ear sotto
voce, sotto voce, sotto voice in a conch,
trapped in a bottle, and left for the tides
with eyes wide, wide, like the open ocean.
Sotto voce, like you’re composing a
sonata in my breath –
make me your choir, I’ll be your
soprano for a summer.
We’ve made this place a chapel
with pews of our daylight, and
air stained with prayer.
You are all that is cold and lovely.
amen, amen, amen