[It was as if her love had become]

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

                                                       as Aaron’s
                                                               which was a cane
                                                  and then a snake
                                                     and then a cane again

     great clouds
              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)
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