I Want This till the End
Don’t you know your Latin said the poet who wanted to kiss me
repeating cupio dissolvi until I wrote the words down
on a placemat. He was taking me out again for dinner.
He was telling me every small thing I should hear. Grinzosa
means wrinkled; beltá is like beauty but no longer used.
You weren’t here, he wasn’t you, what’s my crime, come on.
It means love for the end is what he tried to explain, but saying
I had to drink more wine because he wanted to.
Eliot called Pound the better locksmith in Italian
although a poet loves inloveness more than any iron gate.
Today’s the Day of the Immaculate Conception and so
the locksmith shops aren’t open. I had to call a number listed
under SOS after locking myself out of my apartment and when
the locksmith learned that I’d come from the city of Rocky Balboa,
he agreed to stay for a cup of coffee. Cupio means wish
but also yearn for and hunger, to covet, to crave and to need.
What’s the difference, I asked the poet, between love
for the end and for pretty young bodies-good question, he said
and he puzzled like a stoplight, but there is one, there is one, there is.
I wanted him to want to kiss me too. The locksmith is a widower.
He never thought his wife would die, not once
in forty years, he said-it just wasn’t a thought he ever had.
We agreed at our stupidity but in his eyes was loneliness I didn’t want
to recognize; I know he’d feel the same and didn’t blame me.
I want to ask the poet what’s the difference between beauty
and a beauty that’s no longer used, or the difference
between death and to dissolve. These aren’t the kinds of questions
I would ask you. Husband, you’re the absence of longing.
And I promise I’ll grow old and die. And I promise I’ll give you my life.