by Robert Long

You wake to the milky sky's headache
Of crickets, katydids, cicadas;
Crows gather darkly, down
By the docks. Windows shut,

The interior hush yields
An exploded jigsaw of trivial music:
The cat's clockwork licking,
Refrigerator hum. What was tentative

In last night's blare is resolved
In this unsteady quiet. But now
You're not sure which shirt to wear,
Or of the old dog next door,

Back legs shot, will make it through
To fall, or the weekend. All
The pretty boys and girls
Are back in school again, which

Will make the beach emptier
And more beautiful, with subtler colors,
A washed-out palette, the better
To throw yourself on. And

That autumn smell--chalk dust,
Dry leaves. Later, we'll go bowling,
Or watch a videotape of people bowling:
People like us, yammering

And distracted enough to miss
An hour of blue at once
Dense and slick--we call it "clear,"
Oddly: the watched pot of the sky boiling.

Other Selected Poems from Blue:

Excellent Coffee Shop
Tie City
Terminal Cafe