It seems long ago that we ended the winter
and spoke of the women we loved.
We’d been to the market, you called me a sailor,
we spent all our money on wine.
Many times we’ve been drinking,
many times we’re alone.
We are shaped by the distance,
but your letters still come.
Last night you dreamt of your daughter
born as a woman in front of your eyes.
The old dream that haunts you, straight-haired she carries
the muscles and bones of your wife.
You have been left horned, old brother of mine.
And chased by a child-ghost cannot sleep through the night.
It’s early in winter, my dear wounded brother.
Sleep and be slow in your rise.
A year since she left you be sleeping in bedrooms
and paint every woman you find.
And spreading your oils, be quick to fall in love.
We are shaped by our drinking, but your letters still come.