You Confess Everything

Up to now winter didn’t mean
a great deal. The blue stalactites
weren’t the everglades in reverse
and when the sky became a shambles,
who looked? Now the cuckoo clock
has his way: we are like
train companions in a stalled car:
I take his word for everything:
nights become diminishing hoots
through a tunnel in, say, Finland
where they have no day. I
have no day either. A letter
of explicit denials sits like
a fiancée on the edge of my lap.

The sins count for nothing.
The lips that took the wrong kisses
can be cauterized.
The patient will live.
I will play with the hair and the teeth of your comb.
This will count as an intimacy. Somewhere
you are living the curse of the self sufficient.
Hot months expand, propose and advise you,
“Make what fires are necessary
to keep the spirit-believers believing.”
My cabin is small and ill-equipped.
When I cry the roof leaks, the mice bum crumbs
in the empty cabinets and the sound of the fir trees
bending makes me ache for a suitcase with a ticket to Florida.

If I light a candle maybe the Indians will retreat
with their tomahawks and tom-toms
beating out like a samba your supple infidelities.
On an easel outside in the snow
I have painted a skating rink
where the dancers are sucked in and drowned.
What needed to be fed has been fed.
Please come back.
The cardinals are talking of a great thaw.
The crows have gone mystic and see the rink
as a pond with you and me swimming. Either that
or I will die at the railroad station,
another signature of winter, frozen in my tracks
among the footprints of birds.