New World

By David Baker

—Yellow gingkoes, awash on the sidewalks.
But we can’t have them. Blue sky like a just-
thrown vase. Bright plain blue side still glowing.
Autumn air. Warm as a bath. We can’t say so.
We did not see the horses nuzzling
in the field, in the muddy pen, in the big acres
hidden by trees in the middle of the financial city,
nor whisper through a night in a booth. In
a room. In no hurry atop sheets of many gone loves.
This was not us, nor will be, nor ever will I
forget you when the broken histories are
told. Expenditure and loss. Collateral and gift.
. . . no where shall Wee Be known. How
many leaves. How much wind in the new world—.

David Baker is author or editor of eighteen books, recently Swift: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2019). He is Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review and teaches at Denison University.

Originally appeared in NOR 5

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