Or in My Throat

from Shadow Train (1981)

        To the poet as a basement quilt, but perhaps
	To some reader a latticework of regrets, through which
	You can see the funny street, with the ends of cars and the dust,
	The thing we always forget to put in.  For him
        The two ends were the same except that he was in one
	Looking at the other, and all his grief stemmed from that:
	There was no way of appreciating anything else, how polite
	People were for instance, and the dream, reversed, became
        A swift nightmare of starlight on frozen puddles in some
	Dread waste.  Yet you always hear
	How they are coming along.  Someone always has a letter
	From one of them, asking to be remembered to the boys, and all.
        That’s why I quit and took up writing poetry instead.
	It’s clean, it’s relaxing, it doesn’t squirt juice all over
	Something you were certain of a minute ago and now your own face
	Is a stranger and no one can tell you it’s true.  Hey, stupid!