What I Sought in Bucharest, Summer of 1990
I came to talk Plotinus, Ceausescu, revolution,
was given Cioran and everything, everything
happened in the cradle of that language where I first
heard love you, soft cadences of kisses, a mother tongue.
Any fruit promised a taste of marvel, of wine or blood
who could say which if transubstantiation is possible
If I wanted both, if I wanted everything for an almighty dollar.
Teenaged boys hawked Levis and George Michael bootlegs
on linden-laced sidewalks. Sudden poets left their verse
on cafe napkins to be published by sunlight.
I wanted to know how my parents defected but
everything (everything) collaborated against accounting.
Conquered by clematis and fresh-struck diesel
I fell into love, rubbed my te iubesc over park benches.
I came to know how to leave what you
love and come back, live.
clear-cut the trees that sheltered
these naked bodies
before love became a word
we were legible
saplings. limbs tangle
for less than a bloom
on my cheeks, rub-marks of
your recent stubble
leave me branded
like bark, notched down
with deer antler. who
cares if the forest is gone
in this house
from fallen leaves