It might have been midnight when last we talked
and now I've got this poem that keeps flying
apart which accounts under these xenophobic stars
for all force: gravity, magnetism wind, the ling-
ering of a kiss, a judo throw although
there's yet to be a single formula for it.
Save us from single formulas. One room
smells like ash, another smells like fruitcake.
One cardinal sits on a branch, another under.
You've got to be a bird to understand any of this,
feathery and hollow-boned. You've got to be
a claims adjuster staring at a storm. You've
got to be entered by a shower of gold coins.
On the back of a Brazilian book of poems,
the translator looks haggard as if she's chased
a mule cart into another century, the twentieth,
and suddenly she's feeble in Pittsburgh in her
bunny furs. Imagine, suddenly Pittsburgh,
the handful of dust thrown up for the sun's
haughty inspection, laughing its molecular
laugh, hungry again, dazzling again it its
stained satin pajamas like the memory of lost
love. I think we were walking though some woods
towards more to drink, up ahead the future