I’ll look for you at that place between the dirty
flame of evening, it’s temple to oblivion,
and the milky solution of dawn
where extremes meet and get to know
each other all over. There are lips there
that fit together, silk sky touching
coarse waves. There’s a field there
where the grass is too full
of reflections of the world to talk about.
Ideas, words, phrases like “each other”—
some pattern of permanence
in all that rush and loss?
Your crescent blush made me think
of mealtime, candied kisses on the teeth,
the incessantly efflorescent pungent
bouquet. Is love to be understood
beyond the study of frivolity,
the study of hypocrisy
if there’s no such thing?
Is the raw material of divinity
all that’s left to work with?
It’s time to give up on my brain.
If you think this is a good way to improve
your heart or your mind, sleep on.
Massimilla’s book, The Plague Doctor in His Hull-Shaped Hat, was selected in the Stephen F. Austin University Press Prize contest. He has received the Bordighera Poetry Prize, the Grolier Prize, a Van Rensselaer Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and multiple Pushcart Prize nominations.