Had you entered the thicket in darkness,
had the brambles been swiping your face as you passed,
had you been mid-life, not in haze but in crisis,
had you no other lens but damage to gaze through,
had you—thwacked by branches—entered your true love
as your true love cried out with her palm on your face,
her heel on the small of your back in the darkness,
you might have removed the mask from your visage,
the glass from the casement, the scythe from your fist.


We were just two drunk kids parallel parking in the dark, you saying,
Are you the one with the low down?

Under the burnt-out street lamp us kids.

Heron coasted by the house, trailing those long legs. No,
never tasted heron meat.

Dawn: through the Lincoln Tunnel the mammals
and their metal, headlighting 42nd Street. By the way,
you weren’t born in Omaha.

You said your wife changed her clothes at the wedding site because
it was too cold in the car.

I heard your anecdote, I learned what was an event to you.