by Jeanann Verlee
Just because you fell in love with the river
doesn’t mean you must feed it your bones.
You can take new lovers. Wine, for instance.
And bread. Difficult shoes. Little blue pills.
The first boy’s knife. The bowie, the buck,
the chef’s. Switch, pocket, butcher, butter.
You can submerge in a hotel bath, drainage
ditch, Newton Creek, East River. The sea.
Eat the whole pan of lasagna. The entire box
of Thin Mints. You can go down in mimosas.
You can lose yourself in Clifton, or Sexton,
Walker, Hooks, Rich, Atwood. Or Hughes.
Even the boxer whose poems sewed you shut.
Whose hands pulled you from the red red tub.
The boy who became boxer who became
man who became poet who became husband.
Yes, you can love the river. The knife. The pills.
The wine. You can love a thousand lonelinesses.
You can love the man and each of his hands.
Love the brine and the meat and all the tiny ruins.