Beta Delta by Shelly Reed
“In the house there is a room where a man stares at the wall all day and does not move. A woman stands by the light watching the sick man breathe.” —Louis Simpson
Once a youth on fire with radical ideas,
paying no heed to zeitgeist;
now, a shadow-hunter
waking far away from home.
Inside there’s a monk, a Buddha.
You are solidifying into an attitude,
composing a philosophy,
plotting to overthrow an entire industry,
becoming a phantom like yesterday’s weather.
You’re part of a race not yet conceived,
even in Switzerland.
My face is familiar, though.
Back from Swiss caves, poetic ruins,
we meet in pumiced wind.
Angled fear becomes a musician
conducting an overture of differences.
You speak to me in concentric simplicity
about the penultimacy of your existence.
Machiavelli, Rabelais, Moliere;
you extract the trio from my renaissance mind.
I taste the envoi of your life,
plant seven garlands for your grave.
cannot endure audiorape in the city,
the undertone on his uncle’s farm.
Even wind flattening grass is disruptive.
He seeks a place where
the psyche is still, the soul does nothing,
where he can watch the approach
of his monumental assassination.
In preparation, I shop for black garments.
I learn to breathe in, breathe out,
to sit at your bedside and wait
while you hide in pine trees,
void of sweet narcotics.
I anticipate your return,
pockets wet with clay from the brick factory.
You’re about to make a terrible mistake;
I begin the weaving of pentagrams.