This machine . . . . .

This machine carries distance over sound in a
       ritual act against night
             and all the time you are blind, your rainbow eyes

Hand down material is not put in question
       I don't know that I don't know who I am.
             I should sleep I would like to sleep

A listening you can assign to the dead if you wish
       draws your words
             a lover – actual or desired – hovers over each exchange

You keep saying I don't want to hurt you
       And I can see that this thought hurts
             Experience of hurt has gradually saddened the earth's colours

Helplessly, a wrong-doer in another's dream
       writing its black line,
             those impossible quick-sand dreams

Always on a margin
       mourning the loss of bed warmth
             nature as a mirror of intelligence

Your tongue is a solitary mover
       alone in its cave, protecting and rejecting data
             the impress of reason

The known solitude of your body
       is gathered from others in acts that mirror love.
             how should it know or love

You don't know who you are
       though as they enter and you love them
             really you don't know that you need to know this

As you speak to yourself
       you use your words as pain-killers
             and pray for the competence of cure

There can be (no) plagiarism in solitude
       though barely audible knowledge whispers endlessly
             always gathering and losing a drifting corpus

There is no one to tell
       these centuries of decline of ancient thought
             these things that I do to show that I think

You have crossed through loneliness to a place
       where other lovers talk silently
             of the dead they say they find there

You miss the nameable dead horribly
       each time you have to go back, with ink in your mouth
             you speak because of them, grieving even their previous dead

As they move in solitude
       blessing comes quite naturally for them
             something you do that you will not say that you do.

Talking to myself no mirror mists over
       these are two uneasy lovers
             not reducible for a moment

To ear and tongue.
       the others keep returning in this vague and necessary love
             you cross over again

Your solitude is strangely companionable.