Betrayal of Images


Last night, we made love on the phone in late April's heat,
you in a blue kimono, me in the tall room with watercolors,
my right hand grasping the bamboo U of an open umbrella,
convincing you of Venice from a glance through the doors
of the station, the dark marble and vaporetti, the diced light
on the Grand Canal, the doves.

This morning, the daffodils are iced chalices. Absent
your voice, the night has rushed in with its own alphabet
of revelation - parked cars like bowlers of snow, lovers
in scarves on the dusted sidewalk, rough clouds
on this improbable blue. I will make a list

of forbidden images: My children still and nameless,
the man at the mall where you walk, the red surprise
above the lost jockey. These will be spent
and the phone will ring. I will sit on the deck
and the sun on the elm will become
my cartouche. You will speak and I will pare
the skin from a green apple.