always wanted to visit New Hampshire
because of John Irving’s book & the film with Rob Lowe & Natasha Kinski
could not act
yet their chiseled attractiveness
stood in for them, a superficial filler
as often is the case
for some that is how
life’s entirety unfolds
they don’t really choose
going with the muslin crowd
falling into things like sharpened
pencils sit neatly on a desk
ready to be taken up & blunted
I never felt easy or molded to
others surges
when the crowd hastened to rise
I would take the other pew, sit a while
watching the admonishment of wood
bending over itself in prayer
where discarded moments
buoyed a sense of artificiality strung on a line
flung into frozen lake
as melancholy as any conjured mist
for it was my curse to be a romantic
& New Hampshire is just another place
where my dreams lay a while
purring against naped fancy
it is sometimes better not to seek them out
for they will never be quite as you imagined
life is no film or book
it is a long & windy road sometimes rendered ugly by
man’s fecund print
the only dream is found
in youth or its diminishing wings
when everything is a stage
& beauty elucidates our need
to believe
the hand of ancient love
helping each other dress stiffly by creaking radiator
four knees popping with affection
I want to retrace the mortar of what beseached
me to hold castles in the air & believe
one day I would witness magic
for if my hopes were less grand
more flat and ordinary
I may not have spent so long
gazing upward at empty rafters
thinking myself an acrobat
afraid of heights