She hugs a white rose to her heart—
The petals flare—in her breath, blown;
She'll catch the fruit on her death day—
The flower rooted in the bone.
The face at evening comes for love;
Reeds in the river meet below.
She sleeps, small child, her face a tear;
The dream comes in with stars to go
Into the window, feigning snow.
This is the book that no one knows.
This papered wall holds mythic oaks,
Behind the oaks a castle grows.
Over the door, and over her
(She dies! She wakes!) the seeds gallop.
The child stirs, hits the dumb air, weeps,
Afraid of night's long loving-cup.
Into yourself, live, live, Joanne!
And count the buttons—how they run
To doctor, red chief, lady's man!
Most softly pass, on the stairs down,
The stranger in your evening gown.
Hearing white, inside your grief,
And insane laughter up the roof.
O little wind, come in with dawn—
It is your shadows on the lawn.
Break the pot! and let carnations—
Smell them! they're the very first.
Break the sky, and let come magic
Rain! Let earth come pseudo-tragic
Head, break! is broken. Dream, so small,
Come in to her. O little child,
Dance on the squills where the winds run wild.
The candles rise in the warm night
Back and forth, the tide is bright.
Slowly, slowly, the waves retreat
Under her wish and under feet.
And over tight breath, tighter eyes,
The mirror ebbs, it ebbs and flows.
And the intern, the driver, speed
To gangrene! But—who knows—suppose
He was beside her! Please, star-bright,
First I see, while in the night
A soft-voiced like a tear, guitar—
It calls a palm coast from afar.
And oh, so far the stars were there
For him to hang upon her hair
Like the white rose he gave, white hot,
While the low sobbing band—it wept
Violets and forget-me-nots.
David Schubert, The Initial A, Macmillan, New York, 1961.