There on the wires the birds returned
Out of the south observe the town.
They look in at your window and see there
Me lying naked in your arms,
Your mouth ajar. It’s not a yawn
Or snoring, it is that deep sleep
That leaves you vulnerable to dream.
I kiss your lower lip and tongue,
I touch your chin and throat, the pit
There, and the hard bone of your chest.
The birds observe us from the wire
And pass their comments back and forth.
They hang like notes on staves. I read,
More than reprise, a second theme.
Michael Schmidt was born in Mexico in 1947. He studied at Harvard and at Wadham College, Oxford. He is writer in residence at St John’s College, Cambridge, a founder (1969) and editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press Limited, and founder (1972) and general editor of PN Review. An anthologist, translator, critic and literary historian, his Collected Poems appeared in 2010.