05.11.2014

Socratic

I have never been anyone’s teacher

        not once
        not caught in loose
        arms not in anyone’s embrace

        not night-long
        beneath his cloak’s loose folds
        did I once turn around

Weaken a little more the wine with water

                    a drop will do
                    a moment’s scarlet curl
                    as of a lock, a lock unfurled

                    into night nothing goes
                    gentle atom in this wooden-bowl
                    can I taste it what pretends

Not to exist I have never been anyone’s

        teacher not in
        his winged sandals wronged
        Hermes made of broken

        stone struck
        off the nose he struck
        god in gentle pose

        with stone struck
        off the penis he struck
        the god in his gentle

Repose weaken a little more the wine

                    with water
                    it’s how you learn
                    to greet a lover

                    when no word
                    can speak the inner
                    need you learn

                    this custom of
                    first between eyes
                    gently then the crotch

You touch I have never been anyone’s

            teacher who
            in his anger would
            scorn the loose-robed one

            who bare
            footed steps on the heads
            of those who feel

            love loosens
            lips are for other words
            not these words

That weaken a little more this wine

                    as water does
                    almost all weaken
                    a page even

                    I bend down
                    my head to the book
                    open in my lap

                    a page might be
                    short treatise on the
                    soul in love

But I who have never been anyone’s

            teacher cannot
            say love without love
            becoming an idea

            desire casts a little
            shadow in the form
            of love

            it cannot forsake
            wholly the nerve
            denies it is not numb

Even so weakened with water this wine

Dan Beachy-Quick (© 2014)