On a bench my newspapered nerves flutter.
Bloom of a dark, wide silence, the human
Tether keeps pulling. Like a snake bisected
Some hypotenuse out of sight, caffeinated.
The rejection of the forest floor, therefore
Is, in its elevator, a wordless weight, while
Originality convalesces in a retirement ward.
Can you see them? Festooned with teenagers
These quixotic gymnasia replete with audits
Move, slender and klutzy, as if incomplete.
But when the revolver of Indianas reloads
Accomplished summers annex talismans.
Every piñata from my childhood owes
Me a climax or a switchblade. What
Thumbnail December powered the twittering
Machine of our darkest months, yet kept me
Sheathed in the comfort of that celestial
Grinding? Do the cement notes of Orpheus still
Drip from the trees where the laundry
Of our lives waits in such rustic quarters?
Neither, say two final gondoliers ad infinitum.
(on the occasion of Kenward Elmslie’s 80th birthday)