A Letter from David Shapiro
It's three o’clock. The Mongolians should be asleep.
Mayakovsky sleeps and Josef Brodsky
used my book as a door stop
a few minutes after I gave it to him.
The Inner and Outer Mongolia sleep.
And David sleeps with Stacey in Mongolia
and David's eyes rapid as a sparrow
or a starling in snow sees something
in the bookshelf: an old book sleeps
like bats in the rafters like bats out of mind.
I will try to find some poems in the snow
Or little lashed poets all in a row.
It is late now, later than a monkey.
I look in the mirror and am just like a gibbon.
Same voicebox, same genitalia, same pride.
Who has placed us in this zoo of worlds?
He who has a strong bell and shepherd's arrows.
Let us take as they say arrows of our enemy
And use them in our fight as if they were our own.
O photo of myself I hope to find you
the one that doesn't cause disgust in Baudelaire
the one I saw on the island of love in mistranslation
Never knowing whether we had landed or
were taking off. The island had little snow.
The loudest sound was some flirtation.
I sent you my virtual collage. You sent me Mongolia.
-- May 28 2008