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Two Contemporary Poets

Spring, 2004

Robert Bohm


I scoop up a few stones, shake my hand

and rattle them like dice

in this wooded place where the stream, already having dwindled

to almost nothing a mile back,

concludes for real.

Over there's a tulip poplar,

one branch reaching, while it grows

thinner inch after inch, toward an elusiveness

neither it nor I

can grasp.

And here? This is me,

bearded, with a pizza stain on my collar.

Beyond the stream,

language, like an antisocial woodsman, folds up its tent

and goes where no tent is needed :

a clearing where what the grass has to say

is massaged by sunlight into silence.

Graying with age, I listen to dice click in absence's casino.

Elsewhere, you lie naked with another man.