It was not Virgil you read
(though I asked you to), but the Peruvian,
part Indian, part cousin of Lorca
whose words were spiky points,
wafts of privet, week-old cod.
When you breathed them at me
nothing in the outer world ceased
its turbulent grim direction.
You breathed on my unhooked
eyes and uncovered me.
Above the roof a windfucker smacked
and wind kept eating the island rocks.
We ate along the riverside at sundown.
The clear green juice dripped from my mouth.
We didn’t fuck missionary on clean sheets.
I lost my head between your legs.
My nose spreading like honey.
A whiff of narcissus swept across us.
I ate the flowers whole, tried to outfox
Satan with my tongue.
I felt as if I shimmied up your legs to find
this point on the Jersey cliffs.
The sun was God’s eye.
I plugged my ears so I wouldn’t hear your crappy verse,
then tore into your pants like a scared cat.
The Chrysler Building was a pin.
I tasted you five hundred feet
as the Hudson pulled me under.
© Peter Balakian