I sought you
in immaculate violence.
Alone, I left the village our fathers
never did. I threatened the townspeople,
like a eunuch. I spent my long days
turning from myself, loving my wife
in the straightforward ways, being a reliable son:
a boy who hides, a boy with a gun.
In the precious hour where nothing moved,
I pulled the taut string of a bow back. I closed one eye.
I tell you: once,
my only safety and my only joy
was the open-endedness of sleep,
where I preoccupied myself
with appalling pleasures I perfected alone.
Such smoothness, I thought,
while strangers ran their hands
through my hair like a many-oared
vessel moving through the dark blond water,
like the ship that circled our bed
while we slept.