for Jean-Paul, Taormina 1960

I’ll bless my shirt
That wears like iron
And my belly
That’s always flat

I’ll bless the swift
Smile of my mouth
And the perfect
Girth of my chest

I’ll bless the women
Full of wet laughter
And the playboys
Who can’t get enough

I’ll bless the sun
That tells me its secrets
And the moon that hears
Only my lies

I’ll bless the small tits
Of winter
And the fast cars
Of spring

I’ll bless the diver
Who brought me the weapons
And the gambler
Who taught me the path

I’ll bless the yachts
That sail without banners
And the fingers that remember
How I began

I’ll bless the future
Already forgotten
And the mirrors that ask
Are you who I am

I’ll bless the old crows
In the churches
And the leafy spinsters
Pouring out of the surf

I’ll bless the red dust
Of the hospital
And the club foot
Of the butcher shops

I’ll bless the paper kites
Of departure
And the soft drinks
On the sand bar

I’ll bless the grottoes
Where the pianos are hiding
And the faces lost
At the edge of a swamp

I’ll bless the sailors
Shooting craps on the docks
And the others who curse
The day I was born

I’ll bless my sister
At Cuernavaca
And my brother
At Port au Spain

I’ll bless the garlands
For the sorcerer
And the serpents
That are everywhere

I’ll bless the buttocks
That feed me
And my shoulders
That know the way

I’ll bless the debts
Of tomorrow
And the final inquisitorial
Look of black

This Issue

August 5, 1976