Still More Dedicated Lines
by Robert W. Greene

In Santa Fe, New Mexico

for Maria-Teresa N. de K.

Sullen in town company, they laugh out loud unheard inside the slammed Pontiac that caroms off the service station island. One last time the arc light sideswipes the kerchiefs that bind their hair in top knots.

A posse of matadors or samurai moves out.

When Sarah Sings

for Sally S. B.

Divine la Vaughan, you airily chant your own slant back-up, but never cheat the song's clarion clear line. Harmony, melody bend back, fuse in fugues, in you, in each of us. You riff among our darting, drifting slides, curls, counterswirls.

What words could match your sound or music catch your grace notes? The hunt is on, another verse, another chorus, but you fly on. Artemis entrapped and let go, Venus piping down into Juno on wings extended to the full, you ring our changes into joy.

To Shield The Spawn

for Harry Staley

Our swim in the womb, the blood coursing through our veins, roadstead to our ocean lives, selves, dark waters rushing by and through us. Just so, my son replays my life, as I did, do, my father's, and as the Cliffs of Moher come breaching out of sea, foam and mist again.

Curraghs racing westward in the sun, basking sharks harpooned, the young, pushed up, spun round, pitched out past requiems dodged if just for now. The shoves and channelings endured, with no broad hand put up to shield the spawn, to stay the lucent, endless scattering toward transparency.

Summer Grant

for Dennis and Annick

Out of foreign films of city noontime gloom, habit has me hug the shadier side of gently rising rue de Rennes.

We snared the sublet for two months, but on days like this dull gem, the sky, like my raincoat, nondescript, I tell me I've been years at this, am known in the quarter as "l'Américain" and am pegged for "ancien militaire" by those who don't much care how I stepped before my shelf life here.

I'd pass for French by now if I were half a glint less tall, had their walk and in talk could hold a bleakly faultless tongue for more than monitored exchanges. If you grant that I'm an ex-spy or, better still, a stellar mole, a deep plant, as we used to say, waiting to shine, spiel and strut, then I'll quick-march smartly unremarked up my dark sweet Paris street.


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