for pretending, in front of our own selves,
to be awake. Nothing bothers us!
We’d go to smash on earth.
And if we don’t pin our plans
on the chandeliered stars
it’s a failure of nerve.
On the jetty at Honfleur,
soldiers will take the chairs from bathers.
Say Clotilde wants to keep hers—
he’ll put a heavy windless kiss
into her quiver. And Japanese women
in their doleful silk and pith
helmets will shiver
as they daub their nipples with ash.
Veil the Sultan’s daughter!
The truth is brushing past
like a young American girl
out to bury her rag doll
in the foul effluvia of the burning world.