A weekly poem, read by the author.
April 19 2005 6:43 AM

"We"

Listen to C.K. Williams reading this poem. A basset-hound with balls so heavy they hang a harrowing half-inch from the pavement,

ears cocked, accusingly
watches as his beautiful
mistress croons
to her silver cell-phone.

She does, yes, go on,
but my, so slim-
waistedly
does she sway there,

so engrossedly does her dark
gaze drift
towards even
for a moment mine …

Though Mister Dog of course
sits down right
then to lick
himself, his groin of course,

till she cuts off, and he,
gathering his folds
and flab, heaves
erect to leave with her …

But wait, she's turning to
a great Ducati
cycle gleaming
black and chromy at the curb,

She's mounting it, (that long
strong lift of flank!)
snorting it to life,
coaxing it in gear …

Why, she's not his at all!
No more than mine!
What was he thinking?
What was I? Like a wing,

a wave, she banks away
now, down-shifts,
pops and crackles
round the curve, is gone.

How sleek she was, though;
how scrufty, how
anciently scabby
we, he and I;

how worn, how
self-devoured,
balls and all,
balls, balls and all.

C.K. Williams's Flesh and Blood won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 1987. His latest book, Selected Poems, was published in 1994.

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