THE HOOK. A #poem revised again.


I turned around to look,
Eying the trail for a slick rock,
A root. Your eyes reflected in

Puddles. Wondering, nervous, if

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

I turned around to look, you
Eyed me for a moment and smiled,
So feline, knowing me as only cat’s know.

Perhaps, avoidant, I glanced away.

But we were scanning the map
Of the Bald Eagle State Forest, just
Past where Route 192 goes through
R.B. Winter State Park and
Cold headwater streams
Gather under long-knotted roots.
Golden stonefly nymphs, impatient
With hunger, wait to 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.


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