Home > Poetry > Forty Nights
Published: Sat Jul 1 2006
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
Forty Nights

When the waters come.

A honeymoon arrived at by boat.

The kind of sex
that only happens when a man is more attractive than a woman.

Open the door.  Amber light, a yard overrun by weeds,
mill smoke rising cold to the sky.

Look—it bends,
feels more or less true
depending on the moment.

In and out of the lake all day.

Canned beans, potatoes, three bushels of apples.
Fish cooked black over an open fire.

The kind of love that only happens
after the body

gets everything it wants.

Heaved bricks, taste of sulfur, the way the house
is dwarfed by its vacancy.

Blue smoke descends over the walk.

When the waters come,
don’t bother with prayer.

Don’t wait for a canoe ride out.

Grip his sweaty shoulder, say oh god oh god
like that.  Say do it more do it harder say

don’t ever stop.

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