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Having It Both Ways


ISSUE:  Summer 1982
In the next culture
I’ll settle for having my shop
in the street of racehorse namers.
Sawdust on the floor and open racks
where I stack the merchandise to cool—
Negative Entropy, No Point
of Return, High Tail,
Controlled Conniption, London Derrière,
Chaste Tryst.
During the noon hours customers
can seek me out in the back shop
where I sit at the long table
drinking wine
with my numerous family and friends.

At night you and I retire
to the little room over the shop
reached by ladder and trap door.
Each day
makes an aeon.

Very early
when I start the fire
there is no one else to watch
the precarious dawn.
I split rock maple chunks,
and my bare feet feel the earth
turn in its socket.
It takes a good morning’s work at the hearth
alone
to refashion the street of racehorse namers,
the shop, my faithful consort (always different,
always the same),
the racks of warm names,
and the cuckoo clock that finally sings
it’s noon
and time to sit down again
with family and friends
in the next culture
plus one, where
whatever else happens
we shall not want
for wine.

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