It was as if her love had become
a big eye or some historical logic or
a religious particle lodged in the brain.
In the most costly services of a great society
one may find the allure of a benign intelligence.
I have hoped, since I was a child, to be surrounded by
a group of articulate characters who might
with gracious friendship provide
some essential entertainment
which was a cane
and then a snake
and then a cane again
of smoke from the forest
Itsy bugs amarch my naked legs
in my beard, to burn
as one might
with one’s eyes
I learned, but can no longer remember
with what dignity another’s care imbues one.
You sit and pick the lice from my hair.
What sort of life is this.
Joshua Beckman, “[It was as if her love had become]” from Take It. Copyright © 2009 by Joshua Beckman. Reprinted by permission of Wave Books.
Source: Take It
(Wave Books, 2009)