Like that time somebody sort of noticed
you existed—first love, then violation.
More assiduous patrols are needed–
someone to ride who knows how to rope rhyme
and corral caesurae, someone to mount up
and stay out there weeks at a time or
until the fence runs out, utterly runs out.
Squalls, major thunderstorms, hail in addition
to the usual zephyrs and plain ol’ sunshine.
Just a manly someone in full armor,
someone who salutes you when he returns
and knows everything an order entails
though no mention of means or motives
occurs in four hundred years of
relentlessly well-ornamented text.
Someone also to wear gloves, to have a
stable of gloves for all occasions
occasioning choice. Choose, choose, choose.
Just geometry anyhow in the end.
By the time our opportunity arrived,
our good name had been made bad for good–
they rolled the spite and wordage out and
rolled in it too like dogs in muck. Oh yes
we dreamed of crowbars and poisoned soup,
slippery factory floors, electrical
mishaps. Meanwhile rain crackled like shifting
ice, thunder like some implosion of what
we felt in that suddenly flat landscape,
nothing in sight but weather. We hastened
to relocate our spoiled selves, jettisoned
our personal effects, and now we stand
stout in the rigging of our rebirth.
How the water was the water
And the sky the sky.
How not itself was anything,
How truth be told was lie.
When the weather was the weather
Mild, torrential, chilly, high–
Fog like aspic, rain like needles,
Storms your hazel eyes.
How the marvel was the marvel
That we loved from side to side,
That we carried when we carried
Soft or sharp or still or wry.
How we suffered when we suffered
The cramped room of rhyme.
How we metamorphosed then
And thought we outran time.
How the secret was the secret
Of the plow and lullaby–
How you loved me and I loved you,
How we thought we’d never die.