“Lift up in lilac-emerald breath the grail 
    Of earth again— 
                            Thy face 
    From charred and riven stakes, O 
                                             Hart Crane

Saturday noon: the morning of the mind 
Moves through a mist to breakfast: damp from sleep, 
Rustic and rude, the partial self comes down 
To face a frozen summer, self-imposed: 
Then, as the numb shades lift, becomes aware 
Of its other half, buried overhead, 
A corpse in twisted sheets, a foggy portrait 
Smudged in the bathroom mirror—elegies 
Sung on the nerves of a pillow-muffled phone.


Nobody’s home at home, the house announces. 
And the head nods, nobody’s home in here. 
The bird of dawning silent all day long; 
Nobody’s home to nobody abroad: 
As cars curve past the house, taking themselves 
For airings, while the drivers doze within; 
Anonymous dogs chivvy the ghosts of cats 
Safely locked in the basement. Apples nod 
Their hard green heads, lost in a blur of leaves.


Last night, in the hot house, the self sang 
Its oneness, in reflection of a love. 
Now the cold fragments rise, remembering; 
As feudal lieges move for a missing King 
Shattered on plains of sleep, they summon armies: 
The midget fingers, elbows, eyes and toes. 
To patch again the china egg. And horses, 
Masculine cavalry of the will, prance, pull 
The egg, in cobweb harness, up the hill.


So the self trots upstairs, and reunites 
With its lost half, by towelling off the mirror. 
Reluctantly, the self confronts the self 
Ripped, untimely, from its naked bed,
The winding sheets tossed down the laundry chute. 
The room’s aroma: whiskey and ripe fruit 
Stale with fulfillment, while picked flowers curl 
Their lips, like suicides in brackish water,
Soiled Ophelias, whom no breath can fulfill.