Saturday, April 24, 2010

For Nobody Else -- David Ignatow

 (Bio info about Ignatow is with his first poem in the blog.  This is one of my favorites - no need to explain why.)
For Nobody Else

She presents me with a mountain
which to possess I first must climb.
At the start I must enter a tunnel
that winds in darkness to the top.
In my extremity, my breathing forced,
at my topmost fear as I labor,
she who has hidden her face
turns to greet the high noon burst
upon our eyes.

Lie quietly by my side
as a still lake reflecting
its mountain, my heart beats
on your heart
as we hold each other’s breathing
in our arms,
our backs on darkness
light on our breaths,
safe at last
to hold you,
you place your hands
upon my back
in the shadows.

I need to see and touch
and talk to you each day
to assure myself
I am not made happy with dreams.
Then you become for me a tree
of comforting shade, bellying
where the branches bunch together
full of leaves.
I want a maternal world.

Sadly is how I must say it
because you have many sisters
and I am brother to many brothers.
Should we then not become many happinesses,
become many starts of love,
as we fade into a crowd of faces
awaiting our bed?

My body grows pale with effort
into the milky dawn.
I succeed in acting one more day,
you already dressed and moving about,
a person with a coffee pot.
I stick out my tongue
to touch the brightening sky.

How do I know that tomorrow you will live?
Do you know how much you mean to me?
At the thought of your death
all thought stops in me,
I catch my breath.
                                                                             David Ignatow - American

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