When

When you lay down by my side the sky that covered you now see is falling

when you walk the tall grass to the river that’s weeping you now know is calling

when the wanton streams rush fast and meet the river is recalling

when you stretch your limbs above the dive you hear the West wind squalling

when you stop before the dive and wonder how it could ever really cleanse you

when you shed your dress and see your face on top of muddy waters

when you turn and swirl in the liquid earth it rises to your shoulders

when you lean your back to float down the river you hear the songbird crying

when you close your eyes and wonder why you never tasted the apple

when you open your eyes and wonder what you’ll feel when I come see you

when you realize it can’t be now you have never been so unlonely

when you drift asleep in the silent stream your love-soaked dress wrapped round your fingers

when you dream of angels that drove you out your love-soaked dress wrapped round your fingers

when you slip it on for shame I’d see you raw and pink through the water

when you realize that I’ve dressed too a drunken sailor at the harbor

when we steal into the woods and search for another dark and sheltered arbor

when we stop to kiss the very first time stripped in a grove that is now hidden

when we stop to kiss the very first time we learn it’s always been forbidden

when I stop to wash your muddy hair the earth clumped in unholy midden

when we grow cold we put on clothes we return as if nothing happened

when the sun comes out and warms our hands drying for one last adventure

when you know someday you’ll need to leave for another willing to go farther

when you know someday you’ll need to leave for another tough not wiser

when you know someday you’ll need to leave for another my love no longer desired

when you know someday you’ll need to leave for another you’ll want me that very hour

when you know someday you’ll need to leave for another we’ll kiss under the bower

when you know someday you’ll need to leave you move East I’ll stand still as a sun-kissed flower.

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Giovanni Rodriguez

Giovanni Rodriguez

Writer, amateur blacksmith, future Pope.