richmond, twenty-fifth and broad

what is the meaning of this new falling in love
at a time of great stress? for richmond is

yet unexhausted in may perfection with its
canal and secret places smelling of mist and soil

like a garden choked with banana trees and
butterflies, hemmed in and yet hemmed in

by nothing. i waited, because i knew the sun
shone, to see your tanned and serene shoulders

by and by behind the delight of eyes and think
of saying “let us run away, smash ourselves into one

and disappear into the thick groves of belle isle,
haunt it for eternity.” but i have spent three years

explaining what a terrible notion it would be
to do it, and this is the real shame: my old illness

scorched the seeds before they were planted
and now that i am well and the ground is prepared,

i fear very much that they can bear nothing
without more sickness and great pain.

today i saw you in richmond and the movement
of your jaw in laughing and i was changed

into something young and heedless of many lessons.
indeed, it would be a disaster; grave

to say this thing, i fall in love.

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