If We Could

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turn time into space
it would take some unknown
number of years
for you to catch up to me
not that catching up
except in the casual
way we mean let’s tell one another
what’s of significance
or memorable, of consequence
or worth repeating or meaningful
in order to see if we still like one another
as much as we think we do
is more reasonable


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What I feel says it is stronger than me
Name any object a person carries everywhere
I overheard someone say
It is a great relief to understand
We remained strangers
She put the crow’s long tail down in the dust
What is your dad’s girlfriend’s dog’s name?
When did your mom save the baby deer from the wolves?
Our town’s Tree Warden and its Shade Tree Committee
Discussed solemnly what’s wrong with my Metasequoia
I call it a cypress because I need to call it that
They say its own roots are strangling it
They say it’s unlikely anyone can save it
That was said a good decade ago
This makes me feel stricken with thoughts
About New Jersey’s Pine Barrens
Because I haven’t seen them
I want to mention the cypress trees
Of Deer Range, Naomi and Jesuit Bend, Louisiana
I heard a friend say
Who is/ by what/ somewhere/ today/ reminded of me?
And I liked it well enough to repeat it
On the solemn elevator an agitated man
Looked at me apologetically
In the solemn cafe diners in black suits
Exclaimed over WaWa scavenged ramen
While breaking eggs over steaming bowls
They took hopeful pictures to send home and around the globe
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a little dismal, a little fabulous
We wanted to visit the Rosenbach Museum
To admire Marianne Moore’s rooms
But we arrived too late
A man attending to the Rosenbach Museum
Liked us a little more once he learned
We came from Amherst, Massachusetts
Not because another beloved poet entered into our conversation but
Because he once lived in Amherst and liked its trees
It felt like a National Park he told us but he still couldn’t let us
Into Marianne Moore’s rooms
Another time, we said as we passed out the door.
One of us said, yeah, there should always be another time
I think I did
But it may have just been me wanting that to be true

No Way to Be

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I feel as if I’ve already died

in too many ways I feel
as if I’m already dead
I take in trash tv, politics, and emotional junk

& think

that’s the god-awful truth
maybe not
the most obvious parts

but more likely

the real living people
whose work it is to act
as if it is

to make a living

I feel as if how I feel now
feels how it is when you’re already dead
and life goes on

The Difficult Decision

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has now been made
so many times
by so many
it is a wonder
how it keeps on being made
as if it has become necessary
to tell ourselves
when we come to the moment
when the decision must be made
things have to have changed
& it becomes once more necessary
to take into consideration
the same concerns though necessary
to pretend we have come to this conclusion
independently without noticing how uniformly
the difficult decision is being made
as if it has never been made before
just about everywhere on earth

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