Two Poems By Cyrus Cassells



Beautiful Signor
By Cyrus Cassells 

     All dreams of the soul 
     End in a beautiful man’s or woman’s body. 

     —Yeats, “The Phases of the Moon” 

Whenever we wake,
still joined, enraptured—
at the window,
each clear night’s finish
the black pulse of dominoes
dropping to land;

whenever we embrace,
haunted, upwelling,
I know
a reunion is taking place—      

Hear me when I say
our love’s not meant to be
an opiate;
helpmate,
you are the reachable mirror
that dares me to risk
the caravan back
to the apogee, the longed-for
arms of the Beloved—


Dusks of paperwhites,
dusks of jasmine,
intimate beyond belief

beautiful Signor

no dread of nakedness

beautiful Signor

my long ship,
my opulence,
my garland

beautiful Signor

extinguishing the beggar’s tin,
the wind of longing

beautiful Signor

laving the ruined country,
the heart wedded to war

beautiful Signor

the kiln-blaze
in my body,
the turning heaven

beautiful Signor

you cover me with pollen

beautiful Signor

into your sweet mouth—

This is the taproot:
against all strictures,
desecrations,
I’ll never renounce,
never relinquish
the first radiance, the first
moment you took my hand—

This is the endless wanderlust:
dervish,
yours is the April-upon-April love
that kept me spinning even beyond
your eventful arms
toward the unsurpassed:

the one vast claiming heart,
the glimmering,
the beautiful and revealed Signor.


Return to Florence
By Cyrus Cassells

How do I convey the shoring gold
at the core of the Florentine bells’
commingled chimes?

Vast as a suddenly revealed
field of wheat,
that up-and-away gold
is equivalent to the match-burst
morning I returned,
intent as doubting Thomas,
to my old classroom terrace,
open to the showy, blue yes
of the bustling Arno,
to my timeless, sun-laved
Basilica of Santo Spirito,
and discovered
ebullient citizens reciting,
at a hundred different posts,
the same unbetraying passage
of Dante’s Paradise.
 

Cyrus Cassells is the author of four books of poetry: The Mud ActorSoul Make a Path Through ShoutingBeautiful Signor, and More Than Peace and Cypresses. Among his honors are a Lannan Literary Award, a William Carlos Williams Award, a Pushcart Prize, two NEA grants, and a Lambda Literary Award, which he won for Beautiful Signor. He is a tenured Associate Professor of English at Texas State University-San Marcos, and lives in Paris and Austin.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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