Remember when we huddled between the curb
And the station wagon, recently parked and
Breathing warm mana from its underside. Sharp
Spring night and the streetlights’ shells like so many gems,
Like so many cat’s-eye marbles.
Remember the iron frame and the hothouse roof,
The Crystal Palace arched and diamond white.
Remember the machines, a humming choir
Of ambient baritones. Remember how you scratched
At the elm’s bark to test its truth.
Remember when we stood in the Confederate camp
And boiled the barley at dusk. Remember the hot
Cinders and the joyful drink—the names as
Strong as the beer: Knock ‘em Stiff,
Pop Skull, Oh Be Joyful.
Remember when the transmission slipped and the car
Groaned, when we crossed the blacktop & the coarse August grass.
Into the woods, far in, and—remember—found the pine grove,
And its brown nettle floor. Remember when you
Unchained the lock to the impound lot of my heart.