There are beautiful people now
more than ever. More than ever
the earth shows us what is too much
to love without weeping: Georgia
women with their tattooed shoulders
and men with their tattooed shoulders.
How did they learn such paradigms—
easy grace, pulled as from darkness?
They are as happy as good beers.
They have no need for each other.
Often, I have seen them walking
innumerable dogs in springtime.
When perceiving the animal,
I see the human element
behind it, as behind tall grass:
the familiar celebration
at murder or else the laughter
at my failings with the light-gun.
Against her skin like a pale sky,
the ducks won’t ever make it home.
This poem is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.