Your head unrocking to a pulse, already
Hollowed by air, posts a white paraphrase
Among bruised roses on a peppered wall.
This one was presented to me
while I was falling asleep:—veil of paraphrase
from the words you sent, from the perishing stanzas in the bed
to assume this air-appearance, bruised shadow
on the new white paper maché, simple sum
of both our verbal traits.
I was speaking from the mask
with the tongue of pearls:
my breath softened this compromise
and the edges of the mask.
I wore all the extravagance of lost syllables: androgynous lethologica.
I was sleeping on paper.
I was speaking from the tapestried books of Eros, speaking
to your wrists. It was the pulse
of dying bees, pale in a bowl
carried across a dry field.
The sky was a blank page of the mask.
Bees: this terrifying
devotion to language.