Here. The Hook.


I turned around to have a look at you
Eying the trail for a slick rock or root
Or a glancing reflection of eyes in
Puddles or through long-lobed leaves.

Were we in high school? I mean
You weren’t asking me out to an arcade
—a play land—where kids went to lose
Themselves in the noise of one another.
But can you hear the din ricochet
Off of the grimy linoleum floor, the kid
Chatter, the smacking cigarettes packs, the
Echo through the sin?

I turned around to have a look, you
Eyed me for a moment and smiled,
Feline. A cat. You cat. Oh cats. Knowing
And not. Perhaps I avoided your eyes again.

But we were looking at a map
Of the Bald Eagle State Forest, just
Past where Route 192 goes through
R.B. Winter State Park.
Headwater streams. Cold. Cold headwater
Streams where the rhododendron gather
Their long knotted roots to take
Note of golden stonefly nymphs impatient
With hunger for flight. Someday they will
Fly. The rhodies thick waxy leaves
Serve a thousand orb weavers
Whose webs I try to duck to leave
Well enough alone. But we stumble into many,
Such clumsy giants among the tiny.

We turn again and again, our
Eyes in wan light. Later they will see
White sheets for long enough that
We return here, here, and here.


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