I am crossing the seven seas
To wash off your smell
From my mothball-stuffed drawers that I
open and close—obsessive-compulsive,
In classrooms and coffee shops,
Conference halls and airports,
On the streets or in bed--
A fresh-rain aroma of musk and dead roses
brewed in desire and betrayal,
Suffused with midnight kisses and racing away
on white steeds in chivalrous reins.
But I do not know if all the waters
Of all the oceans can ever achieve that task,
and I know all I really need to do is take off
these glasses that I hold in tremulous hands—
these rose-tinted glasses that have
made me hope against despair,
love against knowledge, want against wisdom.
But oh, I wouldn’t, I couldn’t
bring myself to do that,
Though it breaks my heart every fortnight
into slivers of china on a varnished floor;
Because then, when I am happy,the whole world wouldn’t be New York.