To steal a glance and, anxious, see Him slipping into transparency— The feathered helmet already in place, Its shadow fallen across his face (His hooded sex its counterpart)— Unsteadies the routines of the heart. If I reach out and touch his wing, What harm, what help might he then bring? But suddenly he disappears, As so much else has down the years... Until I feel him deep inside The emptiness, preoccupied. His nerve electrifies the air. His message is his being there.
Excerpted from Mercury Dressing by J. D. McClatchy. Copyright © 2009 by J. D. McClatchy. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted wihtout permission in writing from the publisher.