By W. S. Di Piero b. 1945
going on everywhere
in summer’s cold wind
winging through hollies.
Banana plants flap
like canvas sails
above a dugout cellar
where Latino boys shoulder
cans of dirt, rocks.
Three doors down
more or less . . .
things feel approximate
like my window draft haunted
by Un’aura amorosa
I’ve listened and whistled to
too much this morning
that renews me bitterly
sweet like the mug
on the pit bull
neighborhood kids adore,
recovering from surgery
while his owner Mike or Fred
three doors down
lays Italian tiles
on his rebuilt stoop.
There’s a small tremble
in the familiar orders
that keep us, that we keep,
the ocean’s big breath
through high treetops,
then lower down
a housepainter’s billowing
black nets suck and mash
above those Michoacáns
digging a duplex foundation
for New World gold:
all those respirations
in the pushy nonstop wind
thrown like a threshold
between us and the trench,
us and whatever’s there
underworld or overworld
where certain friends say
they will, at the end
of the things of this world,
be laid to rest,
but (I say) what rest?

Source: Poetry (October 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2009
 W. S. Di Piero


W.S. Di Piero was born in 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and earned degrees from St. Joseph’s College and San Francisco State College. A poet, essayist, art critic, and translator, Di Piero has taught at institutions such as Northwestern University, Louisiana State University, and Stanford, where he is professor emeritus of English and on faculty in the prestigious Stegner Poetry Workshop. Elected to the American Academy of . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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