My love, I know that I have been a clown,
And, bending with a rose in hand, no claim
To formal loving should I have again;
I know, who never knew before, the sound
That rain makes kissing the dark before
It tumbles to the earth and breaks in crowns,
That you are painting beauty where it’s found
Seizing images I saw but never tore from objects.
You fold the word beneath your tongue
And taste the essence of an elm: reflect and lend
And air of legend to my life. Recall
And take the bloody thorns from my hand.
Greenwich Village 1961