for Valentine's Eve

This is a section from the long poem Forth of July. Tom Fleming was a childhood friend, passed away around 1990.

i.m. Tom Fleming

You would have been glad to be here today
Fleming to read the Sunday funnies
Aaugh! As Lucy lifts the 12-millionth football
and Charlie Brown flips for the 13th time Bonk!

A little sad too the way the everlasting ends
this evening light limping so slowly only lent
limpid toward the vague rim of tonight’s Milky
Way Sparky’s wavery quickness trembling

only lent now Good grief! While it’s raining the
Doctor is [IN] and you are uncommonly
weird like a Red Baron’s flying mach-lemon
in the mind of a pup and the rain it raineth

every day like frogs pummeling our foolish blind
shopping carts ah for I am sick of love he
cried running down the street in Lisbon
that twines with a tiny pulse a nub

like the distant crown of Shakespeare’s head
a curvature this pause or sigh this dome
between waves or salient mud-caked
seed so small set adrift (centuries

surrounded with fire your burning bones, Tom
a greenish Copernican flame in the marrow
planted amid the avarice of the pilots the raw
and envious violence of Ahab a mote

that will grow limpid) you know there are women
limping with this cenacle (like myrrh afloat
upon tears) (chambered in the upper tiers)
(up the stairs) helical of their wombs

unknown to us but only a promise
when the last full measure is poured out
beside the shores of great rivers the trumpet
sounds into the depths of that prairie siempre


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