He Left Himself

I left the poetic imago
‘Cross the land, college in a vale
Never to see again as I once saw myself
Fill the template dead, poetic fathers
Write into the sons they leave behind.

He’ll be married in May
Rappel with ease what mentor never leaped
And land feet flush the valley of our birth
Her spruce and elm and aster
Her hidden, satin brooks.

I don’t know…
I always like the heights
And there I hang, precarious
But above, to see,
You see, everything at once.

A loveless rock
Above the summit of the trees
A lifeless, leafless perch of stone
Above the love
And earth.

So, really, from my cliff
He leaps to new maturity
Hanging no more, a monitor
Less of death and more
Of her desire

And though I saw the ropes work
The pins stick,
I’ll choose to hang, still,
And glimpse his disappearing wave—
The final father to his son
Whose hands are stuck. 

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