David Roderick


Dear Suburb

I’ m not interested in sadness,
just a yard as elder earth,
a library of sunflowers
battered by the night’ s rain.
When sliced wide, halved at dawn,
I can see how you exist,
O satellite town, your bright possibility
born again in drywall
and the diary with the trick lock.
Hardly held, for years I slept
with my window wide open,
wanting screen-cut threads of rain.
Blind suburb, dear untruth,
you who already know what I mean
when I praise every spared copse,
you were my battery, my sad clue,

Love field

November 22, 1963

First, a black mark in the sky,
a speck that grows

into a plane widening,
dramatically circling
before it touches
a gray strip of land
designed for its landing.

Then the players descend
the wheeled stair

to the stage
for the cameras,
our collective eye:

first her, then him,
as is custom,
and their entourage
trailing behind,

those who believe
the world is young
and the future spreads
out like geography.

Running brush

Basho said to refuse a prayer until its warmth hunches inside like
a bird in its hutch. First the fledgling is born, then the worm, then they
meet somewhere in the grass. I choose my paper for its cereal color, fuss
over shaving a pencil. The prayer means to cleanse both triumph and lust.
O derivative, sunlight reaping the trees, this whole morning cries through a
single reed. Pencil, razor blade, spit — I'll try not to hurry.