from Memorial Day


The Fairgrounds have dried and greened again.
And the kids, given this last slow run
of radials over drive-stone, are home with their friends
for holiday. But what can I say to you,
Leroy, as the grill-smoke lifts to sleek green blades
and splits and snags,
as these inland shimmerings, projecting chance, projecting
this homework you decided and relied on,
invite me to ask you here - far from that coppery
go-behind and dream-vale -
here as the sun drops out of it, as far as you are / beyond
the need to argue / for responses? And
what will you say of love and of the rhythms of attraction,
except for this poetry, these songs,
this diamonding and further diamonding, believing
the pleasant cups, these
ginger and olive hues, the amethyst and bright-wrapped chocolates
she arrives with, and so many trifles, thorns,
lyrics by the trunkloads, the ballads like slow steps into
/wholly out of briers, ignoring
the looks of critics, the fix of their sure retirements? And
what should I say at fifty-three, except for the songs,
the poetry, with something to say that can't be said, like the desire,
like love at fifty-three, or the beauty
lost when you died strangely and died young? Maybe
the Boston styles were overpriced and punishing.
And maybe the dreams -- the fates laid out like deep-water
and arson -- the dreams were enough almost,
and the white-wearers -- like souls in time -- depending
as we on chance, on streets about as wide
as turning round on. And the dreams were enough almost.
And the meetings occasion paled or misarranged,
the telephones unplugged, and kids who had worked so hard,
prodigious / prodigal, come to this point by dreams
and habits of believing, were so many points to see about,
projecting densities, so many dimes to bet on wheels,
and so much to say for luck, riding these dreams
like street-rods hydroplaning on played tread.