A time of sweat and smiles ...

For Wilbeth (1986)

A time of sweat and smiles, sweet hash
Awkward dancing, Dunhill ash.
Inside me a rage, a jumble:
Arrogant, and perfidiously humble.

Words at lakeside. The evening musk,
Bats careening through the gathering dusk.
A touch, a giggle, aloneness banished
Heart-in-mouth, all distance vanished.
My God! That hand-in-hand could be
So full, so lush in its simplicity!

This body, anguished and abandoned,
Finds succour in warm limbs that enfold,
A mate asking only that perfume be
Honestly perspired, and honestly shared. Months
Of city grit, city fumes, city faces,
The lost grey city soul -- all a fiction,
Crumbling before this moment's verdant Fact.
And in the morning I fetch
Your breakfast.

Lesson one, I learn, I mustn't cling.
(Still, I do, of course, and sing
Inadequate syllables to this profane joy --
You foresaw the man, and meanwhile you loved the boy.)

Created by Adam Jones, 1998.
Last updated: 12 October 2000.