My books have arrived from America! And they are so beautiful.
In Delaware a congressman
accused of sexual misconduct
says clearly at the press conference,
right into the microphone,
that he would like very much
to do it again.
It was on the radio
and Carla laughed
as she painted, Die, You Pig
in red nail polish
on the back of a turtle
she plans to turn loose tomorrow
in Jerry’s backyard.
We lived near the high school that year
and in the afternoons, in autumn,
you could hear the marching-band rehearsals
from the stadium:
off-key trumpets carried by the wind,
drums and weirdly smeared trombones:
a ragged “Louie Louie”
or sometimes, “The Impossible Dream.”
I was reading a book about pleasure,
how you have to glide through it
like an arrow
passing through a target,
coming out the other side and going on.
Sitting at the picnic table
carved with the initials of the previous tenants;
thin October sunlight
blessing the pale grass–
you would have said we had it all–
But the turtle in Carla’s hand
churned its odd, stiff legs like oars,
as if it wasn’t made for holding still,
and the high-school band played
worse than ever for a moment
–as if getting the song right
was the impossible dream.