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Editors' Pick

To the Men on the Porch

She’s in her own little world,
says one man to the other,
as I walk by their front porch

where they sit and drink beer
with the front door wide open.
Actually, I’m harvesting encounters:

tiger lilies planted by a driveway,
a bursting snowball bush, the curious way
one tree’s branch turned ninety degrees

to grow up and through another limb,
forming a square.  The scaly chins
of milkweed pods, how from the right

height the sad, dirty neighborhood
seems clean, just roofs and trees
while sun leaves an orange smudge

as it falls below the mountains.
Sirs, we are much the same.
I see the dark maw

you’ve braved out of, certain
there’s more to life than
what’s on TV.  You’ve scoffed

at the dead faces in its greenish glow.
In your hard wooden chairs
you drink the magic draught

that slips you, sometimes,
under the skin of the world,
that becalms jittery qualms

and all the world’s shouting
about what you should be,
should want, so that you may

watch the shorn grass sway
in a tickle of wind and feel
somehow in instead of out.

Humor my restless pacing, sirs,
all the yellow evening, I too
am looking for the door to being.


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