How Simile Works

The drizzle-slicked cobblestone alleys 
of some city; 
                      and the brickwork back 
of the lumbering Galapagos tortoise 
they'd set me astride, at the "petting zoo"....

The taste of our squabble still in my mouth 
the next day; 
                      and the brackish puddles sectioning 
the street one morning after a storm....

So poetry configures its comparisons. 

My wife and I have been arguing; now 
I'm telling her a childhood reminiscence, 
stroking her back, her naked back that was 
the particles in the heart of a star and will be 
again, and is hers, and is like nothing 
else, and is like the components of everything. 

From To Be Read in 500 Years by Albert Goldbarth. Copyright © 2009 by Albert Goldbarth. Used by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.