Slow Depth Plotting
On my birthday snow has buried
my favorite junk car in the woods.
Naked seat-springs glower with rust.
The steering wheel, black cracked Bakelite,
looks futile. The overall slouch
of the ruined vehicle suggests
that “rendezvous with destiny”
New Wave filmmakers adored,
although they never convinced me.
Meanwhile I’ve missed my rendezvous
with you, a glancing blonde presence
in the corner of my eye. Even
in the woods beside the river
I catch a flash of pale blue dress,
too flimsy for upcountry winter.
Your love of mime exposes you
one sly gesture at a time,
each imperceptible, ill-defined.
The river looks solid enough
to support an armored division.
Its snow-smoothed trough bears prints
of a dozen modest animals
busy with animal business.
No black hint of current betrays
the slow depth plotting. The dam
five miles upstream at Bennington
stalls ambitions rivers sometimes
allow to overwhelm themselves.
The junk car has rested here forty
or fifty years. It came to rest
with sculptural integrity intact.
The car in which you died, however,
crushed itself so humbly nothing
of its original form survived.
Do you remember the slam and smash
that collapsed your skull? You dodge
and feint in the corner of my eye
and your presence on my birthday
explains our divergent lives.