Boston: Late Summer
Today two men beat the good
out of each other. A white
man chased a black man,
then fists. The black man got up,
ran after him. Someone filmed
with their iPhone. I’ve lived here
three weeks and don’t know how
to drive. Everyone isn’t patient
with my confusion. Wrong way
down a wrong-way street,
and a woman with a bumper sticker
flipped me off, a gang of bicyclers
cut me off, shook their fists. Asshole.
How do I tell them sorry? Some boys
are pissing now in the weeds during practice.
I didn’t know they were going to turn.
Driving North on Interstate 99 the Poet Considers His Life at Forty
I’ve pushed all my lovers into winter nights
or fled them in 3 AM taxis, each city empty
as a room I slept in. I understood today
why my mother cries when I leave:
she got nothing she wished for at the driveway’s edge.
I ignored friends, stayed home to type in evening light that
even still makes me nearly suicidal. I haven’t found words
for the gray-smudge sadness under my sternum.
I got everything I wanted and didn’t realize it. I got nothing
I wanted and made excuses. Still I can’t sit in a room
without the television on, or think about the past
without throwing pencils at the ceiling.
I can’t stand to drive in silence.
I can’t stand to drive with the radio on.
Dad said someone shot
the albino deer, with
a gun, out of season. Eyes
pink, white fur, a reverse
shadow in dusk against
the hillside. Not in all
the years I've hunted
have I seen an animal
like that. It's cruel, he says,
for nature to make
such a thing, unable
to hide when hiding
is how it survives. He looks
through my eyes, then
away, wanting us to stay