The ever walker slowly strides
through the monoliths of my desert parlor,
the chairs and ottomans and saurian bones
of friends and strangers, dying visitors.
The multitude on the lonely stage are flushed
and blood-full, vainly strut and wave, yet
their eyes twitch and fingers rub together
in the extremity of their thirst.
The walker whispers – Come! and I alone hear.
No alarm for the desperate crowded dock, none
for plaintiffs parching in the black lava court,
no blaze to mark the way back, no signs, no hints.
And I pass out of my parlor with the walker.
and do not look back to see and the water,
at last, the water cools my tired tongue.
1975, Port of Call and other poems.