Joe Dresner

Two Poems

the mangroves

We had our common everyday names, but like plants we had other names too, which were much older.

The question develops thin creases and wrinkles over time, as one’s mother’s eyes might do, how beautiful she once was, all fear of impropriety gone who knows where, but also the pity and self-regard that comes with pity, as we watch the coin roll for a moment before turning in a circle and coming to rest near the kerb. This, at least, is our story, it’s what we’re sticking to.

I left the glass house with a beard. Yet I had my hatchet, my ball of twine. We emerge and are assaulted by the venal administrators who seek to restrict, or at least define, our prerogative but their words turn back against them as the hull of a ship turns a wave back into the sea.

We have been busy throughout all the nations and deep into the night. But you are very nearly there. The wedding will take place in the mangroves.

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