I came across this poem today, and loved it so much I had to share. As one of my other friends recently said to me, “Whitman is my prophet.”
ALWAYS WITH WHITMAN
I read his poems and no longer care who I might be.
If I am a woman let him imagine my skirt bright as a yellow awning,
a canopy generous and swaying over supple hips,
or let him imagine that I am a man and he lies awake in bed with me
under a roof of polished beams,
the flicker of the lamplight repeating in the windows.
And always I feel him close, his diction and intonation.
each syllable a chime struck against distress and absence,
each cadence an ointment, a balm to soften resentment,
and deposit on my lips some earthy souvenir,
the ash that lingers on the tongue,
the nectar that washes it clean.
poem first published in Volume 1, Number 1 of The Hummingbird Review