Since there seems no exit from
the catacombs of this musty love.
Since I cannot find a stairway, false wall,
chink of fresh air to make the torch flame
perk its ears with hope. Since
we’ve passed this same pile of bones
a dozen times, until the skull, bored,
has turned to look away.
I will tell you this: take these stones,
the mortar that looks good enough to eat,
the trowel I had the foresight
to bring on a first descent.
Go to work.
I will take the measure of my new space,
find which wall is kindest to my grumbling back,
start giving pet names to all the spiders.
Let us each work in silence.
The click of metal on brick like rifle shots
in these spaces as you build knee-high,
then higher. Nothing you say
will persuade me, or cause me
to regret never standing straight again.
Even if you tell me…too many times
I’ve listened…that all the wine’s on your side.