nouns like desire and unresolvable themes

there are certain words - ecstasy, abandon,
surrender - we can wait all our lives,

not so much to use,
as to use correctly;
then the moment at last comes,

the right scene but more impossibly
different than any we'd earlier imagined,
and we stumble, catching

instead at nouns like desire, that
could as easily be verbs,
unstable adjectives like rapt or unseemly.

We find that for once nothing at hand
serves quite as well as the finger doing
what it does, pointing:

at the wine whose slim remains
the two glasses - tipped slightly, given
over to the grass as to their own sweet brand

of longing - look like any moment
letting go of;
or the boy's hand, fallen in such a way as

to just miss
touching the predictably stiff phallus - no
other word here will do - of the satyr;

or at how the O of the boy's mouth,
barely open,
is the same O that the satyr's beard, abruptly

arching away from his shag-covered chest, and
on, skyward,
seems most like wanting to curl into, if only

it could...which in turn is
the same O repeated by those the grapes'
twisting vines - too artificially, perhaps -

string above and,
to either side of the two sleepers,
in the manner of any number of unresolvable

themes, let dangle.

Carl Phillips, Cortege, 1995