Four Way Books
Voices Over Water
D. Nurkse






This preacher's daughter claims to love me
in darkness and in church, and she can prove it
either way: she owns a calfskin book
and a dress made of tiny holes: she has
a sack of millet seeds, and perfect pitch,
and a swelling behind her cummerbund.
She doesn't know I was already in love
before she shared my bed, with those fruit trees
that I earned raking and burning
the landlord's leaves. I loved them best in winter
when I could see them all in one glance
no longer hidden by wind or each other,
as I could never see that woman
from start to finish, and best of all
they were mine clear, countersigned, paid for by sweat,
not by love, lies, happiness or suffering.