On this Morning of your birth
on the edge of a North American winter
in the blue reluctant light of dawn,
in the silence of this room
I want to make you a song,
though a city of songs have already been made
in tongues of fish and grass and blood.
It's pathetic to have this desire
and the cloud of witnesses and so many words,
and still have to ask for my lips to be opened.
I am like my father at Handel's Messiah,
singing the arias in the audience-
he querulous voice in my ear beneath
the fluent surface of the soloists-
not only the tenor part, but alto, soprano!
An impure work, but from, his own belly, lungs, throat.