Cui Dono? after Catullus

by Richard Taylor


To whom am I to give
these poems, polished,
erased, smoothed again
and fitted into murmured
line, the limb and sinew
of my affection?

To you who starts my feet
galloping to the turn, racing
the dust to words, or cools
the lathered muscle, a single rein
loose in your hand —

to you who lives on the other side
of the fence, in the backyard
where the others known as you
forever tend their ground,

whose errant strand of hair
reveals unheard of wisdom
to the timid breeze,

whose single syllable can anchor
a filament of thought, fragile
and sufficient to spin
fantasies of lace arrayed with dew,
and wait —

for whom for now I’ll simply
wrap and tie a poem
around a small stone and toss it
over the hedge into
your private garden full
of blossoms

and ask only that you
unfold it among your flowers
and throw the stone
back over the fence.