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Making Out on a Hill Overlooking the Hudson

Above the boulevards of sweat
where the kids     are gathering again

at the back     of a public bus
to plan     the resurrection     of laughter

an old woman    on a bench    slides
both pink shoes     off her feet
at the beginning of spring

so she can sit    a while longer
and look   at the same river   as us

As if she needs a little extra heat
she rubs     her hands together   so vigorously
the jays all leap      at once

I could stop the sun right now
I could be wicked    as a fruit thief

I could touch your middle knuckle    with my thumb
and pretend     I don’t know     all your names

but   the cherry blossoms are just coming      into view

From the heights     old men     secretly wish
to leap     into their creamy     bloom

Logic tells them     Patience Friend           Wait
another year               It took a long time

for you and I        to follow the river
back       to where it kills

and Nature      isn’t the only    murderer
to go free   but at least        it’s got a million
tasks for the tongue

so when    two mouths     come together
they only mean    to stand       for emptiness

They redraw    borders            in the smallest districts
of the body     like the passing        of an electron

from hydrogen     to hydrogen        to form
another     variation     of water  These days

                                    everywhere        I go
a word                     I can’t pronounce         begins

to sing deep inside me          It signifies
half an absence   Your mouth signifies      another

Between the two of us      we are bearing
six languages    into the future

We share the seventh            which is silence

The century ahead of us        will want to know
how the landscapes     changed
in our brief lifetimes       I want to be clear

                                We stripped
to our ankles   once          and danced

We catalogued      each vibrant thing
beside a dying river     at dusk

We became        whatever we named
We were   so sick    from suffering
we pressed our lips
                                        to everything
       we could not bless


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