Poetry | September 01, 1997
Sometimes my bones hum like Bunyan’s
must have; world turned vassal to my will,
whole cornfields swaying at my footsteps,
thistles fleshed into fruit. Then I think
I could live in a lighthouse, be happy
without an arm curled around me at night.
Or wander perhaps the forsaken farmland,
pilfering from silos, surviving
off the goodwill of the land. But when
is the truth ever like that? Once
I caught a catfish in the Adirondacks.
The thing wouldn’t die even after I knifed it,
yanking out whatever I could find in its gut.
By the time it was finished frying
I could hardly swallow one forkful.
Self-sufficiency, I now say, is for giants.
Me, I need a mouth to greet mine after chores,
a stranger’s words to bring me wonder,
a name to call my name urgent in the dark.
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