to E.S.

In a dream, we walked hand in hand     through Petersburg.
You held a black silk parasol     to shade the sun
a russet scarf     around your neck     the surge
of ocean checked     & mated     sweetly done

by stone     & curving banks     & tender light,
newborn.     This dream     (frail-woven, swaying
pattern)     floats through dusk...     lighthearted leafboat,
whispered through the channel     of my costly clay.

I woke & saw     the shadow of a goldfinch
disappearing overhead.     & so     I send you
cardinal     this blue-green valentine,     launched
in a bathtub ship     called Sophie--     since I know

though parted     by rose-fingered sea     & sinuous time
we never step outside the portals     of Jerusalem


Henry Gould | Island Road 76
Contents | Mudlark No. 6