A Mouth in Siena

          For an Italian—

     My flesh craves your scent,

to clothe itself in your
musk this mouth wants to
lap up more than the
nourishment of anything else, and
never again rest alone or
relent as others won’t, but
I have and will, to
temptations so ostentatious as this

one, which, in fact, I’m
told, forewarned by learnèd doctors,
metaphysicians more schooled in the
laws of the Universe than
those of attraction, their erudition
beyond all surpassing but not
as expert as I am
in lust’s cause and love’s

effect, as adept as I
am in the primal ways
of man and the world,
those bitter thinkers and cantankerous
counsellors of the broken-hearted thwarted
by my outspokenness whose words
only wound, scolded by their
scorn that their exists no

     cure for this desire which

might be as disastrous as
it is dangerous to those
its overpowering yearning burns, that
I should forego your kisses
since braver men have perished
at the hands of cravings
less severe, and I fear
more having to deal with

losing it than having to
heal from being used by
a man so mysterious as
you are, my dear, forlorn
to have to go after
so long in your arms
but consoled to know whenever
I return, there will be

another mouth in Siena to
explore with my own, to
fill with my words, generous
enough to give without counting
the cost, knowing as well
as I do how much
you’re worth, and just how
impoverished I am in the

     absence of your inspiration’s warmth.