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by Don Share

Here’s to us!
And here’s to the gods of destruction!
It’s not possible for me to love
anybody who speaks to me as you do.
I’ve been spoken to
already in that voice,
and I do not intend to be drunk
on it again, so long as I live.
You are the one I adored.
Here is the last glass of wine.
It’s a paradox
that whatever lives invites
its opposite.
I can’t see why grapes
should sing, and we should argue.
Here is the sea.
It contends with itself, and
with the other.
If you could be gentle,
I could be a man.
I want to learn this evident
form of sunlight, color, and intoxication.
I need to know particulars:
Dregs. Water. Air.
Here are the elements,
on our table, of love,
another sort of wastage.
A good vintage: a year.
I could not know you.
You could not know me.
But what is there under the skin
of love, but love?
The yeast, the fruit, the spice.
And love’s ashen bouquet.
What wakens us to daylight?
What makes us live?
I could drink you,
then the dream would come true.
Love someone else, instead.
There is always blood to flow.
And water.
And wine.
I’ve made a decision,
Heaven knows. It knows everything,
and we are in the dark,
with love-spun hearts, and wine.
I hope the angels will consent
to call us lovers.


Don Share’s books are Seneca in English (Penguin) and I Have Lots of Heart: Selected Poems of Miguel Hernández (Bloodaxe). He is Poetry Editor of Partisan Review, and has work forthcoming in Salmagundi. (1999)

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