Select your sorrows if you can,
Edit your ironies, even grieve with guile.
Adjust to a world divided
Which demands your candid senses stoop to labyrinthine wiles
What natural alchemy lends
To the scrubby grocery boy with dirty hair
The lustre of Apollo, or Golden Hyacinth's fabled stare.
If you must cross the April park, be brisk:
Avoid the cadence of the evening, eyes from afar
Lest you be held as a security risk
Solicit only the evening star.
Your desperate nerves fuse laughter with disaster
And higgledy piggledy giggle once begun
Crown a host of unassorted sorrows
You never could manage one by one.
The world that jibes your tenderness
Jails your lust.
Bewildered by the paradox of all your musts
Turning from horizon to horizon, noonday to dusk:
It may be only you can understand:
On a mild sea afternoon of blue and gold
When the sky is a mild blue of a Chinese bowl
The bones of Hart Crane, sailors and the drugstore man
Beat on the ocean's floor the same saraband.