Allen Edwin Butt


Feather in Bas-Relief

Words without much use
now. Unable to remake
the thing. And I thought

what should I think —
followed by: spring light looks
like feathers. (Birds

seemed conveniently
decorous.) What then
does this leave I asked

& was surprised to know
so quickly — that my understanding
of what the light & birds

could not be made to mean
would not detract
from them as they

were. Bound by feathers
(a thought, I will admit,
born of artifice alone)

If Briefly

Sometimes in time’ s near
unassailable sangfroid there is
a thawing
& the memory
asserts its musicality again

reminds one that it is at heart
heart’ s artificer

* * *

Somewhere in Okinawa there are stairs

“My husband is the only
constant in”

are concrete stairs that lead one
(or at least led me, age six)
near straight from top to bottom of a cliff face
& they ended in a black-sand beach

La Petite Vie

Love is the kindest
of absence —

Or else
is a day
by the river,

in which by
it becomes clear —

there have been
in an hour an
infinite train

of rivers, & which
did you want
to see? One

comes slowly
to realize
there is no evading things

(the heart will have
its way, though
its will go

& there is no shame
in this.

The pleasures in this world —
soft breeze, soft
thighs, a bit of music,