from sundry and uncollected poems

My Antidote

for Mirela

I remember when I first saw you
on that snowy porch in the Iowan night-shine.
Tree branches were giving themselves freely to the wind
and then my eyelids disappeared.

“I’ll savor you like a sugar cube,” I thought, but
days have a way of pouring in one ear and out the other.
My muddy boots have a way of leaving
muddy tracks on the Bostick House hallway carpet.

Later, I was about to lift up my head
in defeat, when among the riverbank’s pebbles
I found it. A heart-shaped stone in Filiasi
big as your left breast. I carried it across an ocean to Chicago.

Alas, nighttime clouds don’t matter the same way
in the daytime. Each one of us a mousetrap for the other,
a cube of Swiss-cheese for the other,
poison on the tongue that tastes. You are my antidote.

Chicago 2-15-04