By David Gullette
Featured art by Francis Augustus Lathrop
While I was assailed by a gaggle of captious sighs
you were somewhere else groping for lost teeth
or something or otherwise empty of solace, of course.
Or the time my edges all fell away taking
gritty treads and guy wires with them, where were you?
Breathing ethereal! Moonstruck!
Jesu! Did you think I couldn’t see you
slithering down the pike on your twenty axles,
the wind in your snoot, the coontail aflap flopping
in as crisp a tornado as any whip since
the blow that beveled Dubuque? Eh?
God knows you have failed me in need,
in time, in every intrusion of ice through my
window or down my back, every
whine of the plastic slug through my inner ear.
Do you think my patience is gold as glue,
sturdy as wings, marmot, asleep in your own aura?
Gelatinous posture! Asterisk! Aspic! Strip for your lashes!
David Gullette is Professor Emeritus of English at Simmons College in Boston, a founding editor of Ploughshares, and currently Literary Director of the Poets’ Theatre, which produced his stage adaptation of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf in December 2015 and in December 2016. His book of poems, Questionable Shapes, will be published by Cervena Barva Press in September 2016.