for herman bosman

night traveler, Rio Grande
the street swept clean by
howling sheets of rain,
feet about gone, head full
of Fordsburg, belly full of

thinking of the royalty of flesh—
how it was you wrote it,
how it was i read.

i was grading papers on Sunday afternoon,
drinking dregs of tea, and in he came, like
a blind date, as if we did not belong to a past—
Phoebe, the only two syllables i ever needed
to feel i lived and also like i died.

swanning through Texas like old friends, what did
she know, this new partner of his? i don’t think
much, Moneta and all that,
to say nothing of Lynchburg,
how could she know?

but there we were and all of it was fine.
scorching heat on Mount Bonnell,
but it rained while we were eating.
who could understand? no use in it,
we were always close,
weren’t we?

and i almost dropped him from a great height;
that was long ago.

like old friends,
stories never ever really end
and like old friends,
nothing can be trusted to remain
as it was,

but mostly life is kind to those who breathe
mostly it will comfort those who wait.

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