Duane Locke




If you should ask me how I have spent my life,

I would hesitate to answer,

Then would answer:

Among a thousand swans on the Dike Road in Holland,

Alone among Viennese waltzes from CD’s.

I would pause and say I only mentioned the happy moments.

I did not mentioned my teaching at a university

Where every colleague and student was an assassin.

I did not mention my life sitting on bar stools

Where the ugly moments disguised themselves as Chinese dogs

And jumped into my lap.

I don’t know why I give these answers,

I don’t even know why I answer,

For no one really cares to listen to my answers.





Mainly, when the moon trembles like a fragile fern,

I think what I left behind in Italy,

In a small hilltop, walled town.

I can

Still hear

The color of tears at the Milano airport, Malpensa.

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