My Erotic Double

He says he doesn’t feel like working today.
It’s just as well. Here in the shade
Behind the house, protected from street noises,   
One can go over all kinds of old feeling,
Throw some away, keep others.
                                             The wordplay
Between us gets very intense when there are   
Fewer feelings around to confuse things.
Another go-round? No, but the last things
You always find to say are charming, and rescue me   
Before the night does. We are afloat
On our dreams as on a barge made of ice,
Shot through with questions and fissures of starlight   
That keep us awake, thinking about the dreams
As they are happening. Some occurrence. You said it.

I said it but I can hide it. But I choose not to.   
Thank you. You are a very pleasant person.   
Thank you. You are too.

John Ashbery, “My Erotic Double” from As We Know. Copyright © 1979 by John Ashbery. Reprinted with the permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc. for the author.
Source: As We Know (Viking Press, 1979)
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