As so many ears opening, then squeezing shut
greedily on the news of something long expected
that, having come, turns out not important,
mild companies of effulgent jellyfish
swim through the floodlit rays of brilliant cobalt.
They gallop singly as meek Appaloosas,
manes combed by the radiant sea,
or sink softly—a luminous snowfall, ghosts
of underwear that fell to floors centuries before,
trailing filaments of ribbons in their wake.
One never has the world alone, in a swarm,
though one travels with a solitude that goes on forever,
haloed each in a separate blue, while the foehn
of desire keeps rippling our gelatinous skin.
after Paolo Uccello’s “Caccia notturna”
The silken-haired dogs. The twining vines.
Bells at the wrist, our falcons’ eagerness—
What thrills me about us is the metal of our thrust,
Our speed. On horseback, accompanied by trumpets,
We race as though our hearts were our targets,
Quivering before us in a far-off ravine
Under a bloodless moon, a moon blanched of humanity.
When I grip my bow full of splinters and take aim
I want to be surprised by something
Sudden as Morpho butterflies
Spiraling out into incredible distance
Like a tongue of inaccessible summer,
Then I remember my master, his training, that old grove
Beyond the pond where he first blooded me,
Where I first learned what venery was,
How to eat the face of everything I kill,
It was almost an act of love.