A Long Novel

from Some Trees (1956)

        What will his crimes become, now that her hands
	Have gone to sleep?  He gathers deeds
        In the pure air, the agent
	Of their factual excesses.  He laughs as she inhales.
        If it could have ended before
	It began—the sorrow, the snow
        Dropping, dropping its fine regrets.
	The myrtle dries about his lavish brow.
        He stands quieter than the day, a breath
	In which all evils are one.
        He is the purest air.  But her patience,
	The imperative Become, trembles
        Where hands have been before.  In the foul air
	Each snowflake seems a Piranesi
        Dropping in the past; his words are heavy
	With their final meaning.  Milady!  Mimosa!  So the end
        Was the same: the discharge of spittle
	Into frozen air.  Except that, in a new
        Humorous landscape, without music,
	Written by music, he knew he was a saint,
        While she touched all goodness
	As golden hair, knowing its goodness
        Impossible, and waking and waking
	As it grew in the eyes of the beloved.