A. F. Moritz



I wish we could control this revolting
want of control: these people
with their spongy eyes, their mouths
of trembling shoehorns, billhooks for penises
and bear traps for vulvas.
One taste of sunlight and at once
they can’ t do without it. Water,
the same, and food, and air,
and a dozen other squalid habits.
Some — like their copulation,
a rusting carnation in a cut-glass neck —
are not physically compulsive but
the partners can’ t stop wanting them to be:
so we desire to be raped

Home Again Home Again

Your parents had reached a long slow time,
as animals do, the great center of their lives,
when they gleam in their fells as though eternally,
unchanging. Or as a day can seem eternal
if you lie and watch the full clouds, conscious
of your own time: you soon must get up and leave.
So father, mother, the small shabby town,
its patch of earth going on as though forever: you
forgot them there, where they’ d been since you started out
and where you could find them again — as anyone
forgets what he has to lean on

Lost Content

You couples lying
where moon-scythes and day-scythes reaped you,
browning fruit falls and sleeps
in tangled nests, the wild grass,
falls from your apple tree that still grows here:
cry for your dead hero, his weak sword, his flight,
that you were slaughtered and your bed poured whiteness,
the issue of murdered marriage dawns.
The streets crack, a house falls open to the air,
sun and rain lie on the bed.
And the river still runs in a child’ s hands
under the factory’ s black hulk,


He glanced around to check if the treacherous gods
had really given him the reward promised for his accomplished song
and there she was, Eurydice restored, perfectly naked and fleshed
in her rhyming body again, the upper and lower smiles and eyes,
the line of mouth-sternum-navel-cleft, the chime of breasts and hips
and of the two knees, the feet, the toes, and that expression
of an unimaginable intelligence that yoked all these with a skill
she herself had forgotten the learning of: there she was, with him

What Is Impossible

About the age of twenty, when the first hairfall
signals that nature is finished with the organism
and we just begin to conceive the use of women
(having been all this time
more enamored of the fountain than the cistern),
we retire to nursing homes,
whether they be kaleidoscopic gardens
aimed like a blunderbuss of hermeticism at our neighbors,
or a desperate dream safari through old Zambesi,
where the suicidal waves of angry natives
give the illusion that we are advancing rapidly,

What Way

At the table, at the grave not knowing
whether to grieve or celebrate, they seemed
to find a way within the stalled noon clatter
and the dusk over oily swamps and elder tangle
along a locked stockade of heavy machines,
as the blue heron, looking down, flew farther on.
Nothing dissolved for them the mortal green
and black in transparent power of spacious streams
now gone from earth. The flickering they found,
terror-hope-terror, in fire of sunset clouds
remained unwavering in its progress to night

You That I Loved

You that I loved all my life long,
you are not the one.
You that I followed, my line or path or way,
that I followed singing, and you
earth and air of the world the way went through,
and you who stood around it so it could be
the way, you forests and cities,
you deer and opossums struck by the lonely hunter
and left decaying, you paralyzed obese ones
who sat on a falling porch in a deep green holler
and observed me, your bald dog barking,
as I stumbled past in a hurry along my line,
you are not the one. But you