Part ii is here.


My ticket tells me
To keep on going—
Past first class,
Past the wings,
To sit by the strange man
On the plane.

Strange because,
He is strangely good looking.
Strange because,
His soulful eyes
Hang full
Like Ganymede and Callisto,
As they orbit
The old worn book
In his hands.

He raises them only
They follow me
Sliding clumsily in
To the window seat
There beside him,
Then back to the ancient text.

Addicted to archaic things, myself,
I cut my eyes over
To see what tune
Those delicate little ink blots
Are dancing to on that yellowed page.

I am surely not disappointed,
For the feast upon which
My gaze alights,
Is the particular story
Of the last day
That Socrates ever lived.

My lean gets a little
And maybe my breath
Gets a little
But the strange,
Good looking man’s eyes
Get a little retrograde
In their motion,
And ellipse a little my way.
“You like the Dialogues?”
He asks.

In flagrante delicto,
My eyes are caught,
Their only defense to go
Io, and Europa, and get to orbiting
Just like his.
I nod my head.

We both go back
To the story—
Right to the part
Where Socrates says,
“Out of sleeping,
Waking is generated.”

“I like this part,”
He whispers.
Io and Europa dilate a bit,
And I nod my head again.

“What then is generated
From this life?”
The wise man under the
Sentence queries.
“Death,” Cebes calmly answers.
The strange good looking man
Suddenly quotes out loud:
“And what from death?”
He closes the book and
Looks at me full on.

I know the story quite by heart,
But I’m not sure if I can speak.
The strange, good looking man
Is staring deeply into me.
Those eyes are orbiting me
For the moment,
And I am thoroughly paralyzed.

“For someone who likes “Dialogue…”
He starts to say, then stops.
The Song of Socrates
Has charmed him
Like a magnificent
Hooded cobra,
And his swaying,
Fanning, courtship dance
Has mesmerized my Soul.

He kisses me
Full on the lips,
The taste of his wisdom
Precarious on my tongue.

Endangered love;
Endangered knowledge;
Speculative peace;
And thrills concrete!
I succumb,
Losing all consciousness,
And wake with
His right index finger
Just inside my mouth.

“Mmmm,” he says,
Waking beside me,
“In other words,
I like your dress.”

Jennifer Lives Here