-nAPPING WITH STEVE ORLEN-
In the picture our heads touch. Our cheeks are flushed.
My pearls hang loose, the emerald pendant twisted.
Your wink reminds me of August on the Mountain.
You said “let’s take a nap” and laughed at my surprise.
“The secret, you see, is to not take napping too seriously.”
Let’s go back to the garden at the Bavarian Inn,
drink vodka, read poems. Let’s take a walk on the towpath,
in early fall, slow, while you light cigarettes and smoke.
You taught me to mind the diction in my poems,
choose words to fit my context. I loved you.
Now I’m on a boat in the middle of a river
after rain. Lost. No steering wheel, compass,
blanket, book, or prayers. Nothing makes sense.
My list of things to do brimming with tasks
I have no wish to finish. And then what? You’d ask,
by way of telling me my poems were unfinished.
The other day, I found three house sparrows in the house.
I opened doors, caught the first one, released it
as I shall release my children. And then, what? You’d ask.
What else is there to do, but let go? When someone
leaves, we should no longer need to need them.