by Theodora Goss
If you will steal for me the stars, my love,
I’ll stitch them randomly on my coat of night,
where they will glitter like a hundred eyes.
And I will steal for you the grinning moon
to put in your pocket, for luck when you want it.
How astonished she will be, to be taken
in such a fashion, from behind her veil of clouds!
Let us be like jackdaws, outcast, impenitent,
collecting our treasures, loyal only to each other.
They will call us thieves, but why should that concern us?
If you will steal for me the autumn leaves
to make a gown in which I can dance with the treetops,
I’ll steal for you the mist that winds around mountain peaks,
like a cat around an ankle, so you can walk invisibly,
as mysterious to others as you have always found yourself.
My love, I will steal for you the sound of water
and the motion birds make as they move through the air,
everything precious and rare. And you, will you steal for me
the solemn music of rocks? I would like to hear it.
Let us steal a house of gray stone, which we can decorate
with our loot: ancient tapestries made of the ferns
from a forest floor, curtains like the ocean,
furniture from the best museums in Paris and Amsterdam,
a mahogany bed shaped like a swan.
Let us be partners in crime, never caught
unless it is together, never betraying each other,
escaping out of every prison they make for us, uncontainable.
If we die, let it be in a blaze of gunfire like constellations
exploding. We shall be legendary.
Already, my love, I have stolen for you
the words to make this poem, which some other poet
would have put to better use,
without criminal intent.
(The image is The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.)