After the ordered meter and the rhyme,
feeling Italian or English in our form,
after we make the turn and seemingly end
heroically, after the fourteenth line, we wear
the crown and all hell breaks loose.
Poems on used envelopes. New England frugality.
Never meant for someone. Meant for everyone.
Answering mail with verse. And remaining silent.
Crossings-out, dashes, spaces, columns and overlapping planes.
One poem for each of fifty-two weeks.
You were sitting just two rows ahead
at the poetry reading, listening so intently
that you didn’t notice your sweater slipped
off your shoulder. I noticed. Soft skin
perfumed by a sonnet made of air.