By Michael Hettich
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Extra info for A small boat: poems
And this is a picture of the African plains. We'll slip it beneath his door now; he'll look at it smiling, draw an animal on it and himself running to catch it, slip the picture back under the door. Thus we study the workings of his mind. Today he's drawn a bowl, that's a bowl of soup, being carried by a stick figure, a woman. Page 51 That's him smiling. Notice the hair is wild, that he wears no shirt. These are some of the questions we ask ourselves. A lion! Page 52 I Met A Man in Here Once He was dying, I think he said, from the birds that kept struggling out of his bunched-up clothes.
If we had vanished forever we would have never been missed. The cool root- colored water polished our bodies as heavy fish and snakes I imagined pulled back into a forest of roots to watch, and the current coaxed us gently, imperceptibly toward the turquoise sea a hundred miles away. Page 32 Red Feather, Colorado for Colleen Trees pressed up against the snow we walked across. Animals slept below our footprints. When they stirred in their sleep we fell through the crust sometimes to the waist, to the topmost branches of the trees in which frozen birds perched, waiting for the sky to melt.
We spoke hardly at all. The length of a life. My wife, who's color blind, tightens my arm bones, ties them back, while our children bark for more. Then she stamps, my wife. Her blue eyes gnaw what ache called love once, cutting our tongues. I would lick her, bleed, and feel true love isn't aching but arm bones and blue eyes, but colors, dear children, colors need counting. Page 25 Apples in First Snow The glass day falls blue, shatters as the owls and foxes start their howls in other peoples' houses, just beyond locked doors and the moan of air conditioners.