Reflections on Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”
You like to talk smart to me.
we talk about buildings
and look at mountains—
watch things wave in the wind
and the wind wave our hands
across little prickly greens.
You like to watch wilderness:
these are hooves; this—a tail
we are drunk on hooves and howls
as if drunk on wine,
our mutuality, like tannins, like boldness
the high, like a headache,
it’s 13.5% crippling—nature.
The rest is a subtle collective of confusion,
unrest, admiration, and spiritedness.
The walk, too, is a drunken one:
stumbling, laughing, forgetting
which air came from us and
which from the green things.
I like when we know we’re breathing—
when we know we’re alive, under sky,
among green things. I like touching
hands next to trees and whinnying
things, things and beings
who tell us, in more or less words,
that there is so much more
beyond our conversation.
There are wine feelings:
little things that rustle,
life’s tannins, things you swirl in glasses
things you can’t talk about,
but maybe look at, observe, and depart from
drunk and born again, shaken and stirred.
You’ll be two, still but also two and twenty.
You, him, and everything that moves:
everything that’s wild,
everything like wine.