L’invitation au Voyage

L’invitation au Voyage

Wandering with you the shore
Which parallels our river
Like a second thought.
Singular and sad I wore
The habit of a lover
Almost inside out.

Night in its black behaving
Muffled every lamp and dyed
The wooly season.
Pig-iron boats were leaving
For the lake, slowly the loud
Bridges had risen:

A landscape for the lonely
Or the lewd, as you observed.
When of a sudden
Something steep and with only
Momentary warning moved
Out of the hidden

Harbor. It was a dark boat
And Cytherea it said
Low on the long bow.
“A cabin for two” cried out
A voice, and I saw a head
That I thought I knew

“Fifteen days to the Island:
We sail tonight with the tide!”
I remember now,
Turning, how your face went blind.
The river knocked in its bed
And although a few

Gulls were loud in their abuse
You did not once look up. When
To their obloquy
No protest was made, I chose
To learn what I’ve always known:
We shall never go.

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