The Josephine Game
Port Maurice, April 1796
By what art have you learnt how to captivate all my faculties,
to concentrate in yourself my spiritual existence—
it is witchery, dear love, which will end only with me.
To live for Josephine, that is the history of my life.
I one you on Thursdays and at both elevens, and often
around dinner time.
I two you during evacuations
and afternoons when it rains. But not on Sunday mornings
or days when ladies
I three of myself while you are thinking of food,
or the army, or a hidden switchback
trail back over the mountain.
I four to hate you like a steam piston hates. Though later,
love again, and the engine block.
I five someone with your kneecaps!
I six like the woman of another, though it’s probable
most of my days aren’t spent in pursuit
of the gardener.
I seven like a cattle catcher cow-powers
down train tracks.
I eight the slump that was in the ice chest
since Labor Day weekend. I feel old
and delirious and purple.
I nine all the bubbles in a bar of soap.
I ten you with holly-hocks. I ten you
with holly-hocks. I ten you
Josephine in the Tower
“The danger, on the contrary, lies in the subtle instant that precedes the leap…”
Heights frighten me, or rather, I’m afraid of myself
at heights. I know why the road chicken crossed.
It’s what puts my palms to the stove burners,
my tongue to the blade. Not a question
of danger, but a call to the edge.
The fact of the cliff. Its