Before we start to cover for each other
There are some questions you will have to answer
— More than formality, less than ordeal —,
Young lady: Where’d you get that smile of silk?
What master painted you those heavenly eyes?
And as you take those issues up: Are you smart,
Slyly so? Does your speech sputter along
Then make radical swerves into the clear?
If so, no wonder this purple night is ours
Down to the raindrops in the gutter where they belong.
You understand I wouldn’t know love if it hit me
In the eye, where its image could make a home.
You have to keep on reaching me with words,
Using ones like “contingency” correctly
And “fatuous” in unexpected ways,
Summoning up a lifetime when you say
"…to northern Arizona," shooting phrases
Straight to the heart, out of the reach of thought.