If here green dolphins alternate with blue,
My joys can alternate, can run to colors
As to men, to colored men, to fleshy flowers
Of yellow, white, black, red — and each is true.
Deep in my breast a checkered fountain stands
Where king, queen, pawn, and bishop war for water,
All always winning, and never a dry-mouthed hater:
Troilus falls, a brimful cup in his hands.
Where twice-as-much flute silvers the buried sky
I would escape from a sea of gun-gray facts,
Till staffs grow crooked straightening out men’s backs
And hope, like a bird, augurs well in every eye.
But little Jills in hill towns carrying buckets,
Asses and boys sharing the same expression,
Large country faces — my country, Italian, Russian —
Hang from my neck, a pack of guilty lockets.
And if here lions dance their death in lyric air
And leopards are flecked for every hidden love,
Why not transport these heart-shaped leaves above
To strew in the stony human fields up there?