March 5, 2003

two poems by harvey shapiro

The Librarian

I thought I was in love with a librarian
in Lynn, Massachusetts.
She had red hair, a freckled face,
was thin. That's about all I remember
except that summer, in Cummington,
I wrote a poem for her that, surprisingly,
in view of the barrenness of the experience,
seems to have full-throated ardor, whereas
women I have explored for years
have left me with only a few anecdotes.
So this is the gift of youth, I say to myself,
of ignorance and delusion.
It is never given again.

Rain On Scuttle Hole Road

The rain on Scuttle Hole Road
seen through the windshield
in strings and clots illuminated
by the headlights. She was talking
about Bush's relationship
with Putin. I said, I didn't know
they were having one. Would you bomb
Iraq? Actually, I'd bomb almost
anyone these days of seeing everything
in its extenuating global context—
like sheer hatred, I suppose,
the kind that charges up your voice
when you say, I have to use fuck
when I talk to you.


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