Near Them on the Sand, Frederick Pollack

Urban-20-BuhlerGentrify II, 42X66, acrylic on canvas, Gary Buhler


Near Them on the Sand

“Something like this was always my vision
of love.” “It would be my poem,
if I wrote.” “It’s proportional
to what not merely love alone
but my love means in my private cosmos.”
We talk this way because words fail us,
and because we’re hot. Dehydrated, overcome
by distance and discomfort,
only our equipment
keeping us alive. And so we say
what we should say, to feel
what we can’t bear to feel.

We could deface Her dark
stone flanks, the length of Her back, Her arms
or thighs where they begin to soar
to hold Him. We could set
off bombs below Her ear, His knees,
one elbow, one hand whose fingers
the size of pipelines tenderly
emerge from beneath Her head.
And They would absorb them as easily
as the sky dwarfs all other things.

So we put up tents, pretend to rest
and to begin at least
to formulate a plan: how to begin
to map, circumnavigate,
climb, chip, and explain-–each meanwhile
thinking that one of those faces joined
at the lips resembles his
or her own. Till at nightfall
a chill as unimaginable, before,
as They spreads us out
in a ragged line, hugging
warmth from the base of Her breast.

Frederick Pollack

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