Hard to court abundance, /hard to keep it— . . .what surged/
like ripeness once, continues to show its face—/ shy homeless waif, knocking again on your door.


When you gave up on dreams we gathered
like hoarded heartaches haplessly heaped

in darkened rooms we have long abandoned,
we stitched close a gaping wound of hurts

hurled helter skelter in a frenzy of fearsome
faithlessness we found were a fool’s scimitar.

O, corazon triste! O, corazon de Gitana!
A sad, miserable heart is a gypsy heart!

Beware this desolate heart, when it is hard
to find and hard to keep: when it surges, as

it must defiantly burst into a pulsing geyser
of desire, it will not spare the idle, hardened

heart. Surging like the ripeness it once was,
it continues to show its face—a scrawny waif,

shy and homeless, incessantly knocking,
insistently rapping at your bolted door.

You leave it ajar, and it creeps in like the fog
that chilled your heart once, it lingers, it chokes

your still smarting heart with a frisson
of a joie d’couer.You take him in for the night

and in the coldness of a morning after, phantom
that it was, leaps out of your window, and leaves.

—Albert B. Casuga