Bacchante in the South

i.
there had been a fire
no-one had known about.

the wine had come
from the fire. where
the

trellised wooden grapes
sprouted from the ashy

earth. no one knew about
the fire for a long time.

people kept
on being born and dying,
and in between eating some
and sleeping out in the
dark woods.

there had been a fire
once. no one said much of
it. no

one knew.

ii.
some old men said words about wild young men who rode white fast stained horses down the roads very long ago, and they would sing with their wild voices deep into the hot wet night, in the woods. some

mules came into the woods from an old farm. they grew
wild in the woods. and the wild young men would have light eyes like the sky before
the sun was up and their voices would make the complacent in-seeing women wake before the
night was past and press their wide dinner
plate eyes to the windows. they would want perhaps to lie in the earth as so many times before
them others had done.

then the wild young men stopped.
the mules remained in the wild woods and the old arbors and the tinged air like wisteria and violet flowers. but the horses were gone with the men. their violent stained
paths were gone when the new rains came. there

was a fire no one knew
about.

ii.
Beau knew the broken House-
like he knew the woods about it. like he Knew
the placid sleepingeyes of the mules
that had grown old and wild among
the brambled

fields out doors of the House. Beau
knew that the dark Living eyes still had
fair claim to the nettled woods that
grew to the broken door. Beau was a
strong young man with light eyes- he

had never known a woman and had
never driven an auto nor

taken a photograph with a camera but
he often knew the dark eyes of the house.
once he sat by a river and asked

if knowing the broken muled house
was like knowing a woman. the sky went
on flowing through the river. Beau went
back to the Broken house that night,
and the mules

breathed hot in the wet earthen darkness. Beau
saw the wooden eyes peer darkly through
the house, and he knew the
bacchantic woods where the old wild mules
hid-