for Walt Whitman

I walk on tree tops, scale the blue above and hear your whispers from afar.

A century has passed since you felt the wind on your beard.

Since you held the hand of your dead lover on the field of battle and marveled at his beauty.

And you entered the timeless space of your ritual and offered a single book.

Such magic transcends and thus here I feel your words caress my inner thighs, awaken

the slumber of the snake who has waited coiled to stretch out scales the color of olives,

the color of my Crete kin as they stand against the white walls of their gardens.

The scent of cinnamon and oregano mingles with your scent of railway yards and moonshine

and men who have not washed, yet are pure as the ground was still then, not yet poisoned

by the marvels you did not design but loved all the same,

as you loved all the things that are, as you loved even the pain.

I too am sane as you were in a world that would put us away

and thus know you as my father, my brother, friend and lover.

No flesh, no flesh to touch, I know you as these who live here with me, who have not yet fallen back into the waves of bee hive drone from the center of the spiderweb I scry to see

and you there watching from the eyes of each lover I hold.

Each mouth I kiss smiles your smile, each tongue speaks with your voice

my name,

Snowflower, Snowflower, child of the Northern land,

I love you in the place where all is one, where we come together to open

our bodies as we would take off our clothes, baring ourselves to reveal

blue vein and red muscle and hard white bone, our mortality revealed

we revel that we live through every act of love and worship we create

here and in the worlds next to this world and next to that, onward to infinite gestures

of what it is to love and be loved, to love and be loved, love and be loved.

These wings I unfurl now in the knowledge of your presence, leaning with me against this bark.

Wings the colors of autumn, golden with red maple points stretching wide and dripping

the waters of my life into the soil, milky and tinged with the blood of beings who could be here now.

These wings my organ for playing moments into celebration, how they flap and flutter against

the tree tops, shifting and sifting sound into song. With each note, my body shivers,

quivers, undulates fully, opens wider to receive you and you and you and you and yes, you.