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The Net


ISSUE:  Summer 1985
Caught in the net and one of those
who had gathered said, Please
let me, I’d exchange places
to be with her,
the old man with the bad leg
wanting it public,
that if we couldn’t be destroyed
we could at least be held by contempt.

No one at all would stop laughing. And she,
she tried to become angry,
but even she was shaking with quiet laughter.
And so the net began to tremble a little too,
and I saw how beautiful it was
glimmering like foam.
It made the rest of them look caught although
we were the two behind that sheer
skin. We could see
them crumpled and shaken
and I couldn’t pity him.
She was his wife finally even if
she held death a little while, even if
she was occupying the camps a little while
with her lovely idleness.
And then laughter died and the net spilled
so slowly, silently that both her body
and the net blazed a moment like sunlight
on the darkness of the earth
where beauty loves the maker,
beauty marries the maker,
and loves even the limp of the maker,
the flaw that twists
throughout the body of the maker
love loves.

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