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the moon is a lesbian,
which i know because she has
kissed every inch of my body
more often than any lover
i've ever known.

i have watched the way
she kisses the ocean
and guides her gently home,
have seen her face reflected with love
in the ever-changing sparkling surface of the sea,
and i don't know any other word
to describe a love like that.

the day we smoked a joint in the woods
and then walked eight miles in the rain
to gas station coffee,
we passed two other gas stations on the way,
but you were holding my hand and
i didn't want it to stop.
you said
"you're beautiful"
and i said
because you were the most remarkable
person i had ever seen,
leaned up against the hood of a stranger's car,
smoking a cigarette like a lesbian james dean.

you'd call yourself
"lesbian" sixteen times before breakfast
until it stopped sounding like venom
and started to sound like a prayer,
because how could i ever look at
love like this and feel anything
but holy?
my new church was the woods
by the river,
and i learned to worship
at the altar of your body.
you took me in your arms and you said,
you're beautiful,"
and i told you i loved you
because beautiful had never
meant anything to me
except that i had something
people could take.
i heard "beautiful" from your lips and it sounded
like a blessing.

the moon is a lesbian because
she knows how to love without taking,
i have scarcely loved a man
who has learned how to love without taking,
that is not to say that no man
can love without taking,
but it is a skill that is learned
through a grief
that i have shared with every
queer woman i have ever met.

when you kissed me in the attic,
it was not the first time
i had been kissed,
but it was the first time that a touch
felt like a gift and not a punishment,
and it was the first time i understood
why people write love songs.
i wanted to write you a love song,
but after a lifetime afraid of my own voice,
all i could sing you were hymns.
not because i had made you an idol,
but because your hands on my body
made me feel clean for the first time.

the moon is a lesbian because
the night i stumbled out of
the apartment of the man
who only loved me when
he thought he could keep me,
blood on my lips and nowhere to go,
the moon kissed my fingertips
and she said,
what took you so long?
welcome home."
Born woman. Go on.
It's farther than it seems,
but okay.

Credit card's been stolen.
Go on.

Above all, remember,
whenever you cry,
husbands roll their eyes,

and children worry.

Go on.

The father that was yours
gets killed by a lung disease.

He loved you, at least you think so.
Go on.

Drink, smoke, do drugs.

Go on.

Drag your crippled bones
to work. Hate your boss
behind her back. Smile

to her face. Go on.

Eat. Don't eat. Get fat.
Get skinny. Go on.

Time fragments.
Space fractures.
Lives intersect.
Wombs bloom

with new life. Go on.

Hold on.
'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.

And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head.
And yet you know that you remember me
whoever I am and it is to me
you speak as you used to and we are sure of it

and you remember the child being saved
by some kind of mother from whatever
she insists he will never be able
to do when he has done it easily
the light has not changed at all on that one
falling in front of you as you look through it

and decades of explaining are a fan
that opens against the light here and there
proving something that then darkens again
they are at hand but even closer than they are
is the grandmother who entrusted you
with her old Baedecker to take along
on the Normandy landing where it turned out
to have powers and a time of its own

but the names fade out leaving the faces
weddings and processions anonymous
where is it that the sudden tears well up from
as you see faces turning in silence
though if they were here now it would still be
hard for you to hear what they said to you

and you lean forward and confide in me
as when you arrived once at some finely
wrought conclusion in the old days
that what interests you most of all now is birdsong
you have a plan to take some birds with you
Oh, come to me in dreams, my love!
   I will not ask a dearer bliss;
Come with the starry beams, my love,
   And press mine eyelids with thy kiss.

’Twas thus, as ancient fables tell,
   Love visited a Grecian maid,
Till she disturbed the sacred spell,
   And woke to find her hopes betrayed.

But gentle sleep shall veil my sight,
   And Psyche’s lamp shall darkling be,
When, in the visions of the night,
   Thou dost renew thy vows to me.

Then come to me in dreams, my love,
   I will not ask a dearer bliss;
Come with the starry beams, my love,
   And press mine eyelids with thy kiss.
 Nov 2017 Matilda Alice
Is it your face
that adorns the garden?

Is it your fragrance
that intoxicates this garden?

Is it your spirit
that has made this brook
a river of wine?

Hundreds have looked for you
and died searching
in this garden
where you hide behind the scenes.

But this pain is not for those
who come as lovers.

You are easy to find here.

You are in the breeze
and in this river of wine.
Is it sounds
With surfaces of the sounds
Or surfaces without the sounds:

Is it winds
                curling round invisible corners?
Polyphony of perfumes?
Antennae discovering an axis,
                          erecting the architecture of a world?

Is it
      orchestration of the finger-tips,
                                                       graph of a fugue:
Scaffold for colours:
                              colour itself being god?
I stood still and was a tree amid the wood,
Knowing the truth of things unseen before;
Of Daphne and the laurel bow
And that god-feasting couple old
that grew elm-oak amid the wold.
’Twas not until the gods had been
Kindly entreated, and been brought within
Unto the hearth of their heart’s home
That they might do this wonder thing;
Nathless I have been a tree amid the wood
And many a new thing understood
That was rank folly to my head before.
Europa se ha prendido, se ha incendiado:
de Rusia a Españ va, de extremo a extremo,
el incendio que lleva enarbolado,
con un furor, un ímpetu supremo.

Cabalgan sus hogueras,
trota su lumbre arrolladoramente,
arroja sus flotantes y cálidas banderas,
sus victoriosas llamas sobre el triste occidente.

Purifica, penetra en las ciudades,
alumbra, sopla, da en los rascacielos,
empuja las estatuas, muerde, aventa:
arden inmensidades
de edificios podridos como leves pañuelos,
cesa la noche, el día se acrecienta.

Cruza un gran tormenta
de aeroplanos y anhelos.
Se propaga la sombra de Lenin, se propaga,
avanza enrojecida por los hielos,
inunda estepas, salta serranías,
recoge, cierra, besa toda llaga,
aplasta las miserias y las melancolías.

Es como un sol que eclipsa las tinieblas lunares,
es como un corazón que se extiende y absorbe,
que se despliega igual que el coral de los mares
en bandadas de sangre a todo el orbe.

Es un olor que alegra los olfatos
y una canción que halla sus ecos en las minas.

España suena llena de retratos
de Lenin entre hogueras matutinas.

Bajo un diluvio de hombres extinguidos,
España se defiende
con un soldado ardiendo de toda podredumbre.
Y por los Pirineos ofendidos
alza sus llamas, sus hogueras tiende
para estrechar con Rusia los cercos de la lumbre.
Al rumor de la orquesta, entre el rüido
Que del aplauso en el salón resuena,
El eco escucho de tu voz serena,
Y pertinaz me sigue tu gemido.

Arcángel de mi amor, ¿dónde te has ido?
Tú ya duermes en paz, yo vivo en pena,
Y sólo tu recuerdo es el que llena
Mi corazón llagado y dolorido.

Donde quiera que estés ¡oh mi tesoro!
Verás bien cuánto sufro con no verte,
Cuánto entre risas por tu ausencia lloro;

Cuánto maldigo mi contraria suerte.
Mi conciencia es tu altar; allí te adoro;
Y tu amor inmortal vence a la muerte.
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