ode to you

flammarion-whitman

 

you,
lion-hearted pronoun of intimate address –
always speaking to, never about –
universal in your power to refer,
only ever sharpened to a particular point
by contexts & conversations,
closed or open
to whatever degree
by distance, direction, eye contact,
or any number of factors,
always altered by my reaction.
here & there,
now & then,
i’m you.

everywhere i’m not i, not me, not myself –
i’m you:  constantly addressed
by the world;
by hummingbirds ceaselessly sipping nectar,
heedless of my sluggish, blood-coursing limbs & trunk
(except when they’re not);
by young persian women in short skirts & smooth legs at cafés
(except when i’m not);
by all the weight & all the levity
of dancing pantheons
of beauty & truth
& mathematical perfection
& desire
& every conscious thought i’ll ever have.

i’m constantly addressed as you,
by you,
my universe.

to every corner of my mind & life,
i’m your you.
you’re mine.

whatever i call i is made of
you… you… you…
…in endless succession –
all my ideas of reference,
however poignant or misguided.

call it a ruse of grammar.
call it what you will.

infinite address,
singular addressee,
with only hermes in between
to shuffle forward a message
to whatever fleeting i
holds forth its eager fingers.


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