LE LIVRE EST SUR LA TABLE
All beauty, resonance, integrity,
Exist by deprivation or logic
Of strange position. This being so,
We can only imagine a world in which a woman
Walks and wears her hair and knows
All that she does not know. Yet we know
What her breasts are. And we give fullness
To the dream. The table supports the book,
The plume leaps in the hand. But what
Dismal scene is this? the old man pouting
At a black cloud, the woman gone
Into the house, from which the wailing starts?
The young man places a bird-house
Against the blue sea. He walks away
And it remains. Now other
Men appear, but they live in boxes.
The sea protects them like a wall.
The gods worship a line-drawing
Of a woman, in the shadow of the sea
Which goes on writing. Are there
Collisions, communications on the shore
Or did all secrets vanish when
the woman left? Is the bird mentioned
In the wave's minutes, or did the land advance?
from his book Some Trees (1956)