Two poems · Frances Hargrave


His wife’s question discomfits him
Because he doesn’t want to show
Himself to the girl as he is to her:
Icons do not partake of the mundane.

Her question, in the silence, comes to seem
Petty and housebound; so the girl sees.
And none of them will know — they never can —
What was already, then, and what began.


When the warmed afternoon
Parts at the time we used to meet
Your perfume comes from me.
All the quicker through the room I go,
Tensed, but they know
From my pores atomizing,
From the insuperable languor of every traitorous word,
And the fed breath, and eyes’ penumbra’d luminosity,
Move that dissolves to move, my suffused skin’s bloom,
Your expression.