Today I became you
so I would not have to go on
reaching for you in the night.
"Leave me alone," I said,
hugging myself in the dark.
I was lying.
Day begins with the radio weather
and a voice from the parking lot:
Who's Vinny and why should I care?
I once knew a poet named Vinny.
He'd been in the war--
the one I had watched on TV every night as a kid.
"I haven't written a word for months,"
he once complained at my kitchen table in Brooklyn.
"Don't worry, it doesn't matter," I told him,
feeling at the time quite detached
from all my utterances.
He threw a lit cigarette at me,
told me to fuck off,
and called me a genteel mumbling bore.
I never saw him again after that
We were to do a reading together one night
in the Village and he never showed,
never returned my calls.
I've changed my mind
on the value of poetic utterance
thousands of times since then,
all the while sure of only one thing:
Love should be like apples falling
in the long autumn grass.
What is that in the wind, never ending?
Hammer and nails. Birds sing.
The clouds, seemingly harmless,
take the shape the world may end in.
Last night John called owls out of the woods
and into the nearest trees.
"If you learn to call owls like that," he said,
"women will love you."