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That time of year thou mayst in me behold …. Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

            William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

And though the leaves may fall and molder,

though the winter nights get colder,

and though, my love, we both grow older,

may the choir in me that sings for you

be ever clear and ever blue—

the stream beneath your red canoe.

And though it seems that time’s a thief

and leaf subsides to crumbled leaf

and though the days are gnawed by grief,

may I sing for you forever sweet

in tunes both tame and indiscreet—

sing bare, unruined, my heart, my beat.

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            title from William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act III, Scene II

 

 

I have a Caliban locked in my heart,

a child of the moon. He reminds me sometimes

 

of all the beautiful places he’s shown me—

the heart’s clear springs and its riches.

 

How we loved each other then.

There was a time he would offer

 

to lick my shoes. There was a time

I would follow him everywhere.

 

I invited him to sleep in my sheets.

I would rub his wild scruff till he purred.

 

I poured him my best wine in my best glass.

I sang him to sleep. There are some betrayals

 

we will never forgive. Or so

we tell ourselves. Now he is insolent.

 

Now I’ve built walls. Now he’s rebellious.

Now I’m master I’d rather not be.

 

It was so much more wonderful then

when we were friends, when I trusted him

 

and delighted in the most primal parts of me.

And though I lock him up now, he reminds me

 

through his cage of the sweet airs of the heart

and the music inside us that longs to be obeyed.

 

 

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