Ode to America, My Dead Cat, Etc.
Praise the highway and its hungry bustle
of enterprise. Praise the athlete’s legs
and the sweat, flung by the wind.
Praise all quick things that move
without thinking, find (without seeking)
the dancer’s casual clumsiness.
Praise the new century
in all its rational madness. The future
full of odes, giddy with speed.
A tired man walks a bounding dog
and thinks to hope, must I learn
to think less? A car careens home
towards a still warm dinner
and the dust of the road trails him in.
Later that night, man and wife embrace
in half-hearted sex. The idea of duty
clings to every intimate thing.
He places one hand on her breast.
So praise the reader
who waits for the end,
which is the same
as in the last book she read.
And the author and his vision –
how his characters fall back in love
despite the odds, meeting
at train stations and airports.
Praise all things intentional. Pray
that there is some slow motion
towards an ending. That this is plot –
and the meaning is hidden and elsewhere.