Incurable and unbelieving
in any truth but the truth of grieving,
Then all one day because of ice
they couldn't make it down the hill.
Or up, James says,
But the world is more often refuge
than evidence, comfort and covert
for the flinching will, rather than the sharp
Lean and sane
in the last hour
of a long fast
or fiercer discipline
There is a word that is not water,
has nothing to do with heat or light,
is unrelated to any one pain
Do you remember the rude nudists?
Lazing easy in girth and tongue,
wet slops and smacks of flesh as they buttered every crevice.
What words or harder gift
does the light require of me
carving from the dark
This inwardness, this ice,
this wide boreal whiteness
A town so flat a grave's a hill,
A dusk the color of beer.
A row of schooldesks shadows fill,
A row of houses near.