Yes, indeed, that is my house that I am carrying around on my back like a bullet-proof shell and yes, that sure is my little dog walking a hard road in hard boots. And just wait until you see my girl, chomping on the chains of fate with her mouth full of jagged steel. She’s damn ready and so am I. What else did you expect from the brainiacs of my generation? The survivors, the nonbelievers, the oddball-outs with the Cuban Missile Crisis still sizzling in our blood? Don’t tell me that you bought our act, just because our worried parents (and believe me, we’re nothing like them) taught us how to dress for work and to speak as if we cared about our education. And I guess the music fooled you: you thought we’d keep the party going even to the edge of the abyss. Well, too bad. It’s all yours now. Good luck on the ramparts. What you want to watch for is when the sky shakes itself free of kites and flies away. Have a nice day.
The Mystery of Meteors
I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager park Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds Two days in a row I have not seen the meteors though the radio news says they are overhead Leonid's brimstones are barred by clouds; I cannot read the signs in heaven, I cannot see night rendered into fire And yet I do believe a net of glitter is above me You would not think I still knew these things: I get on the train, I buy the food, I sweep, discuss, consider gloves or boots, and in the summer, open windows, find beads to string with pearls You would not think that I had survived anything but the life you see me living now In the darkness, the dog stops and sniffs the air She has been alone, she has known danger, and so now she watches for it always and I agree, with the conviction of my mistakes. But in the second part of my life, slowly, slowly, I begin to counsel bravery. Slowly, slowly, I begin to feel the planets turning, and I am turning toward the crackling shower of their sparks These are the mysteries I could not approach when I was younger: the boulevards, the meteors, the deep desires that split the sky Walking down the paths of the cold park I remember myself, the one who can wait out anything So I caution the dog to go silently, to bear with me the burden of knowing what spins on and on above our heads For this is our reward:Come Armageddon, come fire or flood, come love, not love, millennia of portents-- there is a future in which the dog and I are laughing Born into it, the mystery, I know we will be saved