Episode of Hands
The unespected interest made him flush.
Suddenly he seemed to forget the pain -
Consented - and held out
One finger from the other...
And factory sounds and factory thought
Were banished fom him by that larger, quieter hand
That lay in his with the sun upon it.
And as the bandage knot was tightened
The two men smiled into each other's eyes.
Star kissing star through wave on wave unto
Your body rocking!
and where death, if shed,
Presumes no carnage, but this single change, -
Upon the steep floor flung from dawn to dawn
The silken skilled transmembrement of song;
Permit me voyage, love, into your hands...
- As if too brittle or too clear to touch!
The cables of our sleep so swiftly filed,
Already hang, shred ends from remembered stars.
One frozen trackless smile... What words
Can strangle this deaf moonlight? For we
Are overtaken. Now no cry, no sword
Can fasten or deflect this tidal wedge,
Slow tyranny of moonlight, moonlight loved
And changed... "There's
Nothing like this in the world," you say,
Knowing I cannot touch your hand and look
Too, into that godless cleft of sky
Where nothing turns but dead sands flashing.
"- And never to quite understand!" No,
In all the argosy of your bright hair I dreamed
Nothing so flagless as this piracy.
Draw in your head, alone and too tall here.
Your eyes already in the slant of drifting foam;
Your breath sealed by the ghosts I do not know:
Draw in your head and sleep the long way home.
III Cutty Sark
I met a man in South Street, tall -
a nervous shark tooth swung on his chain.
His eyes pressed through green glass
- green glasses, or bar lights made them
stepped out - forgot to look at you
or left you several block away -
in the nickel-in-the-slot piano jogged
"Stamboul Nights" - weawing somebody's nickel - sang -
O Stanbul Rose - dreams weave the rose!
Murmurs of Leviathan he spoke,
and rum was Plato in our heads...
"It's S.S. Ala - Antwerp - now remember kid
to put me out at three she sails on time.
I'm not much good at time any more keep
weakeyed watches sometime snooze -" his bony hands
got to beating time...
Go to Hart Crane's page in the List of Famous GLTB.