Tuesday, June 08, 2010

We Are Leaves

I read this poem at the wedding of my friends Brandon and Jane nearly three years ago and have finally gotten around to transcribing it. I still think it is a perfect poem for a wedding...

We Are Leaves
By James Schuyler

There are leaves
there are trees
there is a tuba vine
“she”—a voice
she sings in other
words than what
disc grooves carry:
your name your face
our privacy in
hotel rooms with
cheap vodka cheap
quinine water our
nights are days
the morning comes
and goes and we
are pleased or
“who cares?” We
saw that view
of shimmering tall
offices. Today.
Today is muggy
gray—I don’t
mind: why care?
Today you see
another view
desk and win-
dow ledge, while
mine—my view
that is—is
window ledge
and desk. Do
I miss you?
You know, yes
and I know,
no, you are
so with me
when apart, I
think I under-
stand you and
you me: I’m
happy as a rained
on leaf or
lettuce in a
crisper. You
love me and I
The leaves—
it’s almost
to last for
ever—they will
come tumbling
down. I’m glad
we are not
leaves, or even
trees whose twigs
mesh. We are—
you are you,
I am I, and
we mesh. And
to ourselves
we speak our
thoughts and
touch and that
is love, isn’t
it? What Doc
called, Gen-
ital contact.
And lighter
than a zeppelin
the sense of
touched brushed
lightly one
against the other
we two, together
here among the leaves

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