LOVE HAS BIG TEETH
for Donald Hall
You, in New Hampshire,
old now, alone, on your grandfather’s farm,
gazing out the window at the sagging barn,
bird watching. I’m in Maine right now,
tasting still, the lobster roll
I ate yesterday in Belfast
with that also to-die-for coleslaw.
It’s that moment, never long enough,
when I can forget every bad thing
I’ve done in the name of love.
Your wife, twenty years dead,
a fine poet. I too love her work.
About needing testosterone
to write poetry, so you don’t,
well, obviously, I’m not there yet,
the little sloop in the harbor says,
slopping about on its anchor chain
while I eat out the white meat
from the red pincher
and imagine myself on the small bed,
forward in the boat, lifting and falling.
Outside, through the porthole,
I’m watching two black cormorants
quarrel over a piling
that has room for only one.
Route 140, Sixty Miles North of Winnemucca
I take the cut off
on to its narrow, back road.
The sign warns: No Services
for One Hundred Miles. Lucky me.
God doesn’t mind, I think,
me calling him a donkey,
given the warm, brown eyes of the one
beside the road on Denio Summit,
elevation 4,845 feet. Nor was he
in a hurry either to be somewhere else.
How wonderful the miner
in me, long dead—the shovel,
the pick, discarded.
I came here to be alone.
Nothing to want anymore,
but the quiet,
the donkey’s long gaze.
Up here every stone you pick up