The Arrival of St. Wolf

Iris McCloughan

Behold. He seemed to come
in a shape for Swann to hate.

He took sight of my words
over dinner, and one day

later was inveigled
into revealing his senses. 

I adopted a colder air,
my books generous 

in their provisions.
This was all in service

of a single blush,
the meaning of which

was not lost on him.
He saw beyond himself for once,

and I made the day
right. I did not talk.

He preached the gospel 
of Vermeer, while delicate

piano remanded itself
to us. Later, in the park,

I drew him close. I confessed
I was weary of intention.

I wanted to be draped
in rust, every notice

suffering from a lack 
of luster. I wanted joy

without memory, a delicacy
I could only faintly recall.

Making love with him 
was gathering little evils.
“Exquisite,” I whispered, 
wishing for a gouging tool, 

something that would clink
in the lap of my dress. 

I wanted a blue jay
in the basement, 

an icy glass of aid
in the form of money. 

I wanted corruption.
I wanted to know

mortality. I wanted a wedge
of comté in one hand

and a whip in the other,
its handle wrapped in 

sweat-worn leather. 
Later, my heart stood 

in judgment of itself, 
preparing for some other arrival.