Orpheus Recusant

In this widowed room I repeat
the lessons of my senescent heart,

bead by bead. I ready myself
for the opening of the bitter book

which counsels your faith
and the colored book attending

with cap and bells the approach
of our impatient story:

Attic blessed, fluted
with Lydian melancholies, the umbria
implicit in our breast

We adorn ourselves with tears and amethyst
as children of the Queen

No eclipse will ever elicit a denial
between us

This hand-pressed netting,
this veil of brides, this storied fabric winding
its whisperings about us, sleeplessly

compelling our mouths together for breath, for

I now assume Botticelli’s love
for you

And if time were to abandon us in some unmeasured
embrace, I would rest bedside you
until we were chosen to be brought forth again
from the cold.

Orpheus Recusant [#38]
© 2000 Fammerée

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Richard Fammerée

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“Orpheus Recusant” appears in Lessons of Water & Thirst,
a book of poems by Richard Fammerée.

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