Poem Notes

VERSION OF HUSH                                                                    

Quiet head-start in the light
before dawn that’s not quite light
yet. More the day’s premonition,
the gaslit corona of the sad star
that means summer evenings on the other
half of the world but not on us, the nickel
head face down on the pavement
that was put in back before Dairy Queen
made it to Michigan and before we knew
concrete had a science—which is to say
these laid squares in the cold are shattered like bones
or icicle ice dropped from the roof in the winter
and don’t stand under or on top of them
for fear of break-back and death.

Some things cool to expand like an empire,
others contract like a jaw. Should we repeat,
rinse this, or release it? We winter-camp
with the scouts, burrow in our ice wombs
and zip sleeping bags together like mouths
on lamprey eels if they were ever caught kissing,
romantic like a bird in the air is
which is the rich ice underneath the already under
of ice and keep going down below to the other world,
all the frigid Camaros gone into the canal
and shining like liquor, like promlight, disco, like beads.