The Knife

Can I explain this to you? Your eyes are entrances, the mouths of caves. I issue from wonderful interiors upon a blessed sea and a fine day. From insides these caves I look and dream.

Your hair, explicable as a waterfall in some black liquid cooled by legend, fell across my thought in a moment, became a garment I am naked without, lines drawn across through morning and evening.

And in your body, each minute I died. Moving your thigh could disinter me from a grave in a distant city. Your breasts deserted by cloth, clothed in twilight, filled me with tears, sweet cups of flesh.

Yes, to touch two fingers made us worlds, stars, waters, promontories, chaos, swooning in elements without form or time, come down through long seas among sea marvels, embracing like survivors in our islands.

This, I think, happened to us together, though now no shadow of it flickers in your hands. Your eyes look down on ordinary streets. If I talk to you I might be a bird with a message, a dead man, a photograph.

-Keith Douglas