Lady, come over the ivory field!
Come in cream linen and milkweed down.
Wait for me under the Cottonwood Tree,
cradling your arms, the white in the brown.
I’ll dance the dance of the flame-lipped lizard
(Salamandral, the beasts’ own wizard)
I’ll dance so solemn your face will bring flying
wind River, switches of air that come prying –
The down of your clothing will all float apart
whirling around the tree and your heart;
nothing that’s there will be only one thing,
but arms be a cradle; the voiceless will sing –
milkweed down, in the treble voice,
each wisp with a whittling whistle rejoice;
Ravens, too, who cannot sing at all
will themselves be the notes of a dying fall,
a shimmering spill from the towers on high
that guard all the gold in the Sun-Lord’s sky.
Notes will be cherried and shivered and sharp
halfway between the viol and harp.
Nor will the colors be colors alone –
colors are wind, and wind is a moan;
a moan is the sight of oceans that hover
beneath the hung breast of the lord’s dimmer lover.
There fore, O Lady, the fields await you.
Leave the brothers that love and that hate you,
leave for my presence enjoyment of food,
longing for warmth, and hate of what’s lewd;
Go if you hope that I will soon come!
Cradle your arms and flee from your home.
Leave for the alien all that you know –
In ivory fields go, wait in the snow.