by Ted Bonham
After Errors by John Ashbery
The wind brings us echoes of the shipping forecast
from all of the other poets listening late at night,
staring at the glowing tip of a cigarette, burning
as only the best words do—
in the clouded corneas of spy dens,
in the beads of sweat frozen into winter,
inside the where without
where John is busy placing his just so
we’ll never quite comprehend them.
And love is adapted lust.
And love is a feeling of complete stillness.
And love flees to water,
your old school swim team dissolving in the mist.
Anything placed to burn in stars
refines the lines around the lines
around the lines of a Spirograph that resembles a human mouth
at ten-year intervals. It fumed
clear air of quitting each time we got pregnant. It desired
an excess of doubt in all things.
Ours was poorly sewn
and you were poorly stitched to ours
and hours spent patchwriting the moon
would never rise.
The moon is fine – We return to be entangled
in the Spirographist’s silence.
Your old school never had a swim team, though
love is all to do with drowning.
Whose truth is it in doubt this time?