Those Calves - Peter Malakoff
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for the Tuna 

Those Calves

Those calves

 

those sweet swellings

 

I shyly followed in my adolescence

 

The most bounteous showing of forbidden flesh

 

the girls of my dreams

 

I followed them to school

 

meditating, contemplating,

 

merging my whole being with their breadth

 

and

 

worlds of recognition appeared and taught me

 

and from calves alone

 

I saw deeply into the lives

 

into the ways

 

into the very character

 

of those elusive maidens

But I was young and didn't notice

 

so natural it seemed

 

and not at all rare

 

or wonderful

 

It was not until later

 

when my palms had poured over many calves

 

and my lips had pressed them softly

 

 

and my tongue had licked them sweetly

 

and I had known their silent rejoice

 

that I saw and understood

 

a Great Embrace  

      

  of ears and winds

 

   of lips and trees

 

   of voice and birds

 

   of eyes and stars

 

 

That each revealed all

 

 

That in any aspect of life

 

attention could pour so completely

 

that laws and lessons would appear

 

 

I understood the stars and planets

 

never caused a single thing

 

but were observed to be

 

  'just so'

 

when certain theatre would occur

 

    and futures were proclaimed

 

 

 

 

I followed fox tracks with an African shaman

 

down to the river

I read tortoise shells

and yarrow stalks

 

with the old Chinese emperors

 

 

I stood with Odysseus

 

and watched an eagle

 

wheeling across the sky

I felt an evening fall with malevolence

 

I awoke a morning of good fortune

 

 

And that day

 

I don't know how this happened

 

 But I can tell you it is true

 

 

I was going down to the river

 

    watching birds turn in the sky

 

reading tea leaves and tortoise shells

 

  and

 

    I saw you

 

     a long way off

 

       with your shy calves

 

           and your dress lifted

                       

         like a veil

 

          over our future