The generosity of madmen
--whether born or made so--
is like a pitcher overturned,
sweetness wasted in the sharing.
I'm not about to mistake straitjackets for haute couture;
I am as hard and closed as a policeman's nightstick.
Still, you can lay naked in the spring grass,
holding a hymnal and a caramel.
Pretend yourself a parrot, all colors.
I will still be the crow from whom the night borrows its darkness.
When you have gone, I will play ancient games
with dying cicadas.
The years will fold themselves into pastries
the crumbs of which I horde and never drop.
Go, parrot. And this time
do not leave open my coat of poems
with sleeves like shaded roads, and wool like forgotten noons.
But if you do, I will have been right in my manic certainty
that you would make me cry in the end.
22 lines for Real Toads.