Peter Chapman Poetry

St. Augustine

the towels in the room are old, thin,
the rough transgress from this Spanish dream
to your old sin, hung like moss in the limbs
off our balcony, and the pool is facet blue

with leaves, tree shadows rippling

the late lobby light, the blind clerk,
pleased to announce his town, racks of cards
that squeak, new combs, pens, daylight
purring the travelers to a tired ferment

the little red light of the all-night coffee machine,
white cups stacked

then the deacon, stirring us up in the rosy hue,
wide shouldered, urging---familiar?---avoid it, avoid sin

we know you soaked all day in the girls
Augustine, and had more wine than was good for you

Across the cool piazza she comes,
you open her tunic and her breasts
sling loose like great fish, to the left
the right, blunt nippled eyes
glistening with that hue and cry
like his own moist caul at birth,
the sweet decline of skin to mirth.

Is there anything louder than the whispering clash
of egos, Augie thought. He remembered his father, his mother
as he sat idly in Tagaste, blurred with desire, giving himself up to pleasure
with all the vehemence of an ardent nature.

That's what the books say, who can know?

She pressed the wafer into my hands, tremulously it felt.
I took wine from the cup, then got up. Walking back to my car, the sun
caught the breeze. Trees sighed. Worlds die.

Pleasure fattens you to confess.