Pelle Lowe
        
Canto


You emerge seamlessly   out of the flip-booking windows 
of a passing train   an almost guileless seduction 
into the dreamtime   of Hieronymous Bosch 

How he painted the little humans in Hell   created them 
innocent   as delicate and strangely   defiled as they were 
in Paradise    How the people underground tonight 

seem like his    When I gather them up in my bag 
I am already in your slipstream    A door opens 
and I fall   upward   through humming metal 

pneumatic glass   zippering me into 
the incandescent   street and sulfur light 
gauntlet of half-rememberings   I walk 

each night   to a waiting warehouse   the dark inside 
a blind white elephant   raging at her stake 
Itís here Iíve conjured you   my Princess Leia 

hologram   beamed from another universe 
You have your own life now 
and neither of us can let go    The image 

you return to   signaling your presence 
and absence   always the same   beautiful child 
running before me   just out of reach 

Every time   you look back   you are someone 
else   a new face on a card   pulled out 
of the deck of pictures   I collect each day

sometimes only a fragment   a particular hand 
pulling on a loose   coat button   sometimes 
an entire sequence   in a desert town called Waiting 

for Happiness   you   apprenticed to a widow 
who teaches you   phrase by phrase   the names 
generations of mothers   of daughters   You sing them 

your complex dusky voice   soaring 
over the quiet rooftops   your own name 
hidden   in the plucked string   of an ancient kora 

Tonight youíre the mysterious baby   smiling 
from the back of a cart at the Star Market   your eyes 
strangely locked on mine   as if I were someone 

you lost in a crowd   and found   suddenly 
You disappear again   but Iím transfixed 
like St. Teresa   riven   in your beatific 

and uncanny gaze   a sign   surely it is 
a sign   thereís a world nearby   where you are 
always   whole   and where I am   forgiven