Robert Burlingame

A friend writes me
a letter, can you believe
tells me he’ll look up my poem’s subject
on the Internet, that endlessly ramifying root
holding us all together as we sway above the earth.

I think fine, I think
of the undulating flights of sandhill cranes
finding their way through a breezy heaven,
the rank perfumes of lakes and rivers below
     their guiding compass.

I think sure, I think
of the busy ants outside my door as they signal
one another to carry in more food,
the soft sibilance of antly scraping telling
     us the wisdom of saving.

I think yes, yes, why not
go to the cold glass page impersonal as a glove
go to it, the book is there these days,
or a view of it, though somewhere
in a dim library you’ll find
     its original dusty and ignored
          its pages yellowing beneath
the smudged lipstick left there once by a girl
who read it in bed, her warm flesh pressing.

Poems used with permission of the authors, and may not be re-used without their permission.