IMBIANCATO - Don Marquis Poems


Poems » don marquis » imbiancato


A note of thanks to you when
all is said and done, for the little cowboy,
for the sonata, for the now and again
shimmer of sun that reinstitutes, reinvests.
A note for the surprises I ask you to safeguard from me
lest I marry them to my grief.
Take care of me in my blindness.
Teach me to say a prayer when I am out of words.
Remind me that hope outlives the flesh.

Give me that happiness I said would straighten me out.
And if I have already had it, forgive me.
I offer you these moments here in front of me
where I am less beleaguered than I was --
moments you gave to me. I am through being fed up
with returning your gifts. I give you back everything
you gave with the incarnate music you wanted
wrapped around it.
What you want with such music is beyond me,
the lace of tears, the jewelled warbling,
the hurts hosannaed on a moonlit
night of stars,
the scream at death, beaten into faith so simple
it wound around a girl's head like a ribbon.

I admit finally, my footsteps are not my own.
I surrender, as I did to all great things, to the plausible
fabrication of your hand.
I dream of little cowboys, many of them,
all happy to find a campfire at night with the increased
consolation of your voice in wind and whippoorwill.

I will walk today into the empty sojourn
of my life and look forward to the nearest stream
and that nocturnal conversation between us
where I offer you my tears
and you will raise them like a river between
stars and stars.
There's not much more this heart would
care to divine.
This note of thanks I place somewhere at your feet,
a man on the planet.