This story begins on a lake in the Berkshires, up among the low hills and wild blue turkeys and deep woods, up in the northeast before you get to Canada. There I am with my daughter, pulling a rowing boat out across the sand and onto the weed-thick water.
When I saw the man tuck the boy
under his arm like a chicken
or a football, it made me
remember how after one week
of pre-season my youngest declared
his body was all wrong,
insufficient to take down boys
he needed taken down
No mystery if the cats gather as this strange encounter
should have come to have emblematized the city:
for of all those who passed and paid homage to their peer
only you remained, after the room was clear.
I do not mean to lose the coast. But the fragrant wood of the skiff, shore whining with current, as though I could hear the coil of electric lines humming with speech, the slur of ordering—and in overhearing seek to follow, or move away from, bow knifing the water and splaying it from its back, sound retreating fathoms down from the oar’s dip and dip.