TWO FIGURES IN DENSE VIOLET LIGHT
by Wallace Stevens
I had as lief be embraced by the portier of the hotel
As to get no more from the moonlight
Than your moist hand.
Be the voice of the night and Florida in my ear.
Use dasky words and dusky images.
Darken your speech.
Speak, even, as if I did not hear you speaking,
But spoke for you perfectly in my thoughts,
As the night conceives the sea-sound in silence,
And out of the droning sibilants makes
Say, puerile, that the buzzards crouch on the ridge-pole
and sleep with one eye watching the stars fall
Beyond Key West.
Say that the palms are clear in the total blue.
Are clear and are obscure; that it is night;
That the moon shines.
-pg 85, Wallace Stevens, The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play. Vintage. New York, New York: 1990.