Summer 2008, #15
       "Convenient Acts of Human Behavior"


     by Amy Newman

So tonight driving home
or to what is for now where I live
and the sky said something unintelligible. I looked up.
Ignored again by the various worlds, by its beech tree fragments
and crumpled birch, and the havoc it passes off
as seasons. Turns of the wrist
like caprice, weighing, deciding
the fall of the leaf or the sparrow.
It left me again.
So I looked down.

But I had seen it, the vague moon up there,
its withheld arm a glare of white
under which my mortal dirt exists,
and it could have undone me with neglect.
I walk the little earths I know, intruding,
and the myths, whose secrets realm us, they spiral and satellite,
consider and pass. The night's temperament
was another dismissal, a strange little dog
running away across a field, and I am nine or ten.
Did I look up then? He skittered away in spite of me.

It's too human to know I will never do enough
for the parent clouds and the fury of the gods
whose faces blur at the mentionof my name
at my wrinkled shirt and the shoes and the scuffs.
The sky's enduring distance fills with rain.
In the jet's smoke patter the story isn't fiction
but memory, and a promise of propulsion.
I would give you, moon, whatever you ask,
for a silken acknowledgement now. And you ask only

that I drive, unused and useless,
play stable in the elements, deliberate as muscle,
and that I not delve, dig, capsize,
nor strain the limits in your landscape's field
lit rich and distant as a stranger's house.
In such an equilibrium I pretend, while I am driving,
that I understand the beauty of counterbalance,
any helt of distribution, any reaons for enduring,
any why of steer.