At a University Lecture

Black the air black black with chimney-inside
and the inside of a hundred heaven-hungry heads of hair –
the light is thin, attractive, but the mind is for the mind –
health’s wholeness never is held by heart-speech here –
suddenly aware of weariness, I turned and in this well
a branch of grapes struck starvingness . . . I saw at her black bench
a lady, greying . . . at least it was her cheek
that sworded me with vulnerable life
on this black spiral staircase going down.

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