by Joseph Fasano

Joseph Fasano

Like the Dutchman who hacked out               
             a 2,000-page treatise on the soul

of bees, I was doing my work:  
            Autumn. Winter. I was trying to love

the story of the composer 
            who carried his frail mother from their burning house

at Wolfsgarten, then stood 
            in a scherzo of blizzard 

until she perished of bitterness for this world.   
            I was trying to hold

the feral face of the possum 
            like the wild boy of Avignon, moving its slow

lips that would not end.  
            I was Leviticus. I was Revelation. I was

the child excavated from the battlefield at
            Agincourt, then hanged

a second time, 
            moths in the moonlight of her forearms.  

One night             
             I will whisper it, in toto: how I discovered

a river 
            like a suitor, abandoned

my dead to its vigil. How obsession
            wore his silk-red 

kimono, his wine-dark 
            mouth at my table. 
How I was neither
            the falcon nor falconer,

the singer the singing
            nor song.

Last updated November 24, 2022