for Emma Jean (“And they saved each other every day.”)
How, when my emerald voices pray
In the crystal heart, and the bright chimes
Sound along the shoals of day,
Shall I not search among the stones
For your mist-shadowed silent lips,
And listen in the vaults of bones
For those wave-shattered psalms of seas
That promise me , oh my bright shade,
The flame that bends my soul to thee?
For is not love that trace of flame,
That sign seen far in silhouette
Between the edge of stars and earth,
In that place where winds on water step?
And if I read in heaven pale
These ancient signs, these lines on slate
That in translation, told our tale
As if our tale was marked on bone
Banked in halls of bronze and stone,
Would you believe those faded marks
No man can read or waking see?
Would you emerge from stone to say
Our history begins today?
I speak, I know, I know, at slant
And seldom cleave the circle straight,
But your geometries enchant
And I stand frozen at your gate.
Yet still I sense our centers touch
As deep as senses hope to know
In that rose room that hovers high
Above all memory of snow.
And so above the ocean I,
Released from arms and earth entire,
Relive within this room of steel
The ashen memory of your fire,
That in such mansions once I slept,
Most fortunate of all blessed men,
And breathed your breath,
Embraced your heart,
That my stilled heart might beat again.