My early years are winding down     spirals
canal     O     lead me     river     to that sweet
shy     lock     of your     Italian walls,     &
set me in     your gong-sent     gondola-casket.

I have not seen     those verdant     smoky domes--
dove-hearted     Bogotá--     those     roseate peaks
& sheer-strung crevices     inset     with palms, &
spires     uprisen     high     in playful pinks--

& yet     collegial petals can     play Roma too--
& loop the loop into...     --that gulf of roses,
buried     in my chest     might     grant you
amorous fortitude!     & winestained poses!--as

dancers     (rising to     their constellated task)     quick
check their mates     & soar--right through the mask.

Henry Gould | Island Road 98
Contents | Mudlark No. 6