The abacus that is our brain
keeps count of pleasure, rest, and pain
with double entry, red and black,
to balance gain and what we lack;
yet reason is no string of beads
but calculator's thinking deeds.
The only poems Mallarmé,
that god-infested man,
ever brought to light of day
were laid out with a plan.
His ink he made to be jet black,
his page was white as cream;
he wrote no verse, just verse's lack,
and published it in dreams.
In truth, my dear, I do not see
that you have any claim on me,
or heart's insurance, or a word
that chains me down when it is heard;
but then I never was the kind
who tangled up with vines that bind
and strangle. Yet if you will find --
on some far quest in some far land
where Serengetti mountains stand
or by Brazilian rivercourse
or at the Nile's distant source --
my heart, then we will have a deal
that I will hold; and none will steal,
not time nor death nor Fortune's wheel,
my love, and it will stand and stay
till trumpet rings in Judgment Day.