Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
Herself listening to herself, having no name,
She walked in an airy April sun, clothes close on her
And thin and of some printed green;
A girl came nearer and nearer, came
Carrying white and yellow flowers.
Girls are smooth with sleep in the morning
And, before they dress, up out of naked bed,
Stand open to all airs,
Next to the world's body as the world's to theirs.
In the evening and at midnight, light
Curves round a girl, reaches to brush her cheek,
Her lips, loose hair, or breast or knee,
Outlining her with shining that cannot speak.
Ann at midnight and three midnights heard a voice
Saying, When you come back you will not find me here.
Or Hulda. Not Ruth, perhaps Elizabeth,
Who read next year's news in a letter, all the accidents
Postmarked, and lost it. No one believed her.
It was a dead man, if you know what it is to be dead.
Eleanor, he said, or Janet Janet Janet do you dream me?