a bird thinks
it is, it doesn’t
call itself a bird. A ball
doesn’t (I presume)
let alone anything
global. A ball
is a sphere. I know
because I was told.
There are no
where there are
no brains. Leaf.
I wanted to write–still do–about a woman
briefly interviewed (she stays in my head),
but my brain has flawed circuit boards
and I am furnished faulty words–penguin,
or mouse, for the shape of her hair. The light
was softly lead, the sun a gray disk
in a windy plastic bag. That said, I was
fifty miles from the flying-saucer-shape
of that auditorium where seven thousand waited
patient and frozen as peas, to be processed in
by security. Local-channel surfing, and there:
that woman–so perfectly done up among
the hoi polloi. Surely the camera wiggled
toward her, happy wet doggie, pushing past
orange shoulder and green protest to soak
the glow of a woman in love, if love from afar.
I don’t care what he has to say, she witnessed
to the microphone. Hours of cold wind,
and not one freshly re-auburned hair dared
disgrace her. We love him, she said, I
just love him. Indeed the frozen Magi
could not have touched her for adoration.
Offer her a tray of pearls, she’d brush it aside.
Saint Nameless in fervor, drunk on anticipation.
Wonder: did she receive the great man’s…
what is the word for emptiness?
I’m afraid I may have gone a little too far.
Spent Winds and Tender Ones
In her late age
my mother-in-law came to hate winter trees.
Should the terrible oaks be ashamed, standing naked?
Forget staged catharsis: Spend two hours among trees
in their threadbare, fretful need.
Time may call down on me
a touch of her ferocious awareness.
Why not prefer stainless quilts to runaway joy,
the small-boned cedar—evergreen—to inexpressible man?
I shall take my irreversible doubts and my suspended sleep,
and swap their modifiers.