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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Conversations with Lowell

He stops by
only on Wednesdays when he says
the traffic is lighter
and he needn't worry too much about getting
run down or lost if he decides to
pause somewhere for a drink or maybe
visit one of the magnificent
cathedrals along the way, monuments he says
you hardly ever find in the other place
where so he's told everything
is mostly just ethereal
in the manner of Claude Lorain or cool and shadowy
pastel copies of Turnbull nothing
like these where you can actually reach out and touch
the stones and come to know especially
when approaching from above that the “oversized” steeple
isn't out of scale at all but an integral
part of the whole and the bas relief statues of the saints
that line the walls
my god it's like James said
in my Union Dead you can almost
hear them breathing
but that's the kind of surprise and delight
we've come to expect here and no feeling of confinement at all
you can wander anywhere you like
with only the great river for a boundary which
is much like the Mississippi
near Little Rock more shallow
than one would have thought but treacherous nonetheless
and no ferry no way to cross except to take off
your shoes and step out
barefoot into the darkness.  I've considered that don't think
I haven't because let me level with you
there are times when I still think about Elizabeth
and if I truly thought she was over there
I wouldn't hesitate for a moment but how is one to know?  And
on those occasions when I've written her the letters always
come back Address Unknown which
makes me wonder if it's like this with her as well
that perhaps there is enough Hell to furnish everybody
with at least one.