I could go out like that,
sucked to a whisper like the midtown
tax building explosively leveled
by surgical teams. Peripheral crowds
as the city block gasps

and sets up an armature of dust.
Memory is like that—shapely
clouds breaking to a lower weather.
I could come in virile, positioned
against the rain. I could remain dry.
I have a face worth standing on

and resemble my grandfather before he dies,
before he quits work, quits his occupier
of counting each telephone pole on the morning drive,
like a beleaguered historian not detailing
but recalling that there were years,
each one lifting a voice
stripped to its wire.

A lineage. Which says, Here you are.
Here is your house, your winter,
your holiday roast of gardens.
Crowded around the dinner table,
that one level of agreement,
here is your family-a trade ship in irons.
Each person a volley of rigging.
Here are the lines they throw out.
Come sit by me. Before it gets cold.
Here is something.
You'd better start.