My mother was a school teacher.
She worked hard in the city all day,
so she wrote a classified ad
for a homemaker to raise me
and nurse me for pay, to lay me
down in a crib beside her fifth child:
a fair boy, who is now a grown man,
with flushed cheeks and dark lashes.
Now I am a teacher in a gray
endless city. I lecture about
sentences and poetics to grown men
and women who know more
about the world than I.
When we read the autobiography
of a martyred American man,
Q took me aside and told me
a harrowing tale about how he crossed
paths with the great man's
assassins. Sometimes it is hard to know
who teaches whom and what is the lesson.
So let the cards fall where they may.
Sometimes the mind goes
very still, the eyes loosen
and you see for a moment
life branching like capillaries
in cryptic and fractal patterns.