A Letter to the Boys


If gathered together,
the tiny bit of snow
on the neighborís rooftop
might only fill a cup.

And yet, scattered evenly
as it is, and being heavily
concentrated at the ridge,
it looks like a perfect dusting
of powdered sugar.

Early morning. Calm.
Half-frozen drops of water
arranged like beads
along bare branches.
Robins singing.
Patches of blue dragged
against their will
by dark clouds
toward the eastern hills.

When I go out today,
I will wear my heavy wool coat.
I will be crazy underneath,
a furnace of illogic,
a black kettle on to boil,
full of pungent greens.

The advertisements say,
Let us speak plainly now,
this is what you need:
A man is not a man
unless he is properly
scented and insured.
Invest in yourself.
Be unique, like others.

A black kettle on to boil,
full of pungent greens:
lungs like bellows,
a pair of legs and feet,
a solemn nod for
everyone I meet.

I would know you
if I saw you, boys.

I would know you
if I heard your voice.

I would know you
from across the street,
and in the wilderness
that intervenes.

But would you know me?
Or would you avoid
this tangle of noxious weeds?

March 9, 2006







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