Deep breath. Onetwothree. "I love you" (in Czech.) Which is 'Miluju te'. Babylanguage. In the washy cave of the mouth. Tongue trebletouching palate. Breathbrushed teeth. Below and toward the heart: the larynx, a shaft of air. Very like a stiff penis, in density. Take these my words as thoughtswords. The kind of woman I find fatal is the femme fatale kind. (Yes, you may call me Pandoran; but do not think I have no names for you. O massed bovinities. O legions of the dumbed.) I was driven to poetry: Her hair was blacker than comparison / Her lips magnificent were red as blood / Her skin was whiter than her hair was black / Her eyes were closed. My mortifer, herself immortal. Yes, a vampire. Of sorts, anyway. Deadly nightshade. The castle gets rather cold in winter. A vast inexistent life. She would have forbad me from eating her menses. I would have disobeyed. The cloud-crossed, star-besotted moon. I had not desired such a necromance. When I described it to my own heart, it engorged itself with choler. Before her lying-in-state, gentlemen, I had had no such nightthoughts; after, ladies, after, began my life-in-death - I was intimidated by intimations, assaulted by doppelgangs of dreams. Instab after instab. But she, despite her obvious drawbacks - immobility, putrescence - was still the most beautiful woman my eyes had even lain with. When I gave birth, it was to tigers. I had not imagined such lyricism of form, such tone of poignance. In arabesque of tress, in iridescence of iris. It was as if something impossible had happened. Death. Plunging through the winter, like a train. We had been alive, together, once. She was upstage, I was in the Gods. All ghosts are by their own haunting haunted. Even her feet elicited infatuation. To them, to her, I sent camellias, for there was impossibly nothing else to send, and, in reply, I would have accepted nothing, nothing but the nothing I received. How can one admirer distinguish himself from the many? I lived on soup for a month. She will never know. We toss on splinters that once dozed on down. Tomorrow is that particular anniversary. What a swift and bloody laceration on my calender! The horrible no longer horrible. When I walked the streets, I was a suicide; it was only the weakness waiting in my room and the terror glancing from the blade that prevented. My first temptation was my tempted self. But I might have recovered, I might have lived somewhat in the lapses. Still, she would have been the shadow that I walked on, the shadow caressing the treetrunks, the shadow within which I slept. There is a waterfall from head to heart. It would have been a mottled life. A chiaroscuro event. I think, though, I could have lived with that could she have lived with herself. The terrible not terrible enough. It was, some said, like a stock market crash. Men who had never been suspected were found. Politicians. Writers. Tramps. I want to be included in your life. I was abroad. In Prague. I have never forgiven myself. My tongue, whose deep desire is to dispense... Nighttrains. Gaping platforms. Early evening editions. The great outgushing of your succulence. Only crowds could attend her now. Comprised of my desire and nothing but. My only suit was a dark grey, so I dyed it. I am my own pure sharklike appetite. We processed past, myself and the hundred thousand. My hopes are in another vessel bark'd. There was nothing but weeping and there was no one but the bereaved. Everything ceased. It felt for days as if we were swallowing our own live hearts. Incarnadining. Speech was a constant sob. Even the weather report was an implicit bewailment. Black and black and black. 'How can a life respond?' we asked. White and white. 'Where is our recompense?' Red. 'Ever?' But I, among the mourners, was ultimate. My grief was velvet, theirs was velveteen. Her tricolour; my flag. I would die loving a woman I had never touched and I would die happy. In Czech, it was said, so no one would understand. All poetry gone, I walked the banks of rivers. I did not look at the water and I did not look at the houses. I looked at my feet. When I walked, I watched myself walking. It was an unfair achievement. Around me the city must have reclaimed color. Theatres must have reopened. Florists must have expanded on the profits. Butchers must have replaced her photograph with meat. I did not notice for I was walking. It was as if the river were circular. I had my two favorite bridges, but I never remembered crossing them. I did not think. Really. There really was really nothing, really. It was vast. In Czech, but. It was this. The young man. Where the crowd. Whiter than comparison. Like a river. At my side. White and white. Spoke to me. Her name was. I will live. A young man. In poor Slovak. Beyond all hope. Across, walking, across. With rain later. Blood that blood. Within the world. Meat for sale. I love you. In poor Slovak. The young man. At my side. Spoke to me. 'Yes, me too.'