57 – Dam (for H.C.)

Dam (for H.C.)

Nights such as these
when an absent airplane
keeps me awake, nervous
carving its way through the dark

I wish for a hermit’s beard
a thick, crazy-making beard
and bushy, bulging eyebrows
white, to match

A symbol
something to excuse
the way I tinker, worry
my fingers over my knee
in old-man fashion

Such nights as these I leave a lamp on.

I dig out old Hayden Carruth
a book of his last poems
I pour myself several fingers
of whatever’s on hand

I wait for the plane noise
to fade, the hole it makes
to close

The warmth comes slowly
I settle in
to Hayden’s voice
as I imagine it

After a while I let the guards off
Take it easy on me, boys, I say
to myself
All posts abandoned
what comes, comes

Not much fit
to be recorded or recalled
in the bluebird light
of day, but some

And that is enough
to begin to build
the dam
against the next night
and the next

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