Any Place I Hang My Hat

By David Lehman

In Amsterdam or Copenhagen,
Or any harbor that is a haven,
I did as I was told:
I wrote god it came out gold.
Many stole. I got caught.
I was the lucky thirteenth caller
Who heard the verdict in time’s cellar.
They said I would be shot.

In this place or that,
Or any place I hang my hat,
They never called me sir.
But god, did I love fighting with her
In college in New Haven,
Where minds were bought
And minds were sold
For ten cents on the dollar.

I heard the verdict in time’s cellar.
She was the buyer. I was the seller.
When we opened in New Haven,
She quipped it was no heaven.
But god, did I love fighting with her,
Before and after writhing with her,
In this place or that,
Or any place I hang my hat.

If wishes and deeds were one,
And nothing new under the sun,
Absent us not from felicity awhile;
Rather behold the face of heaven
Contort into the shape of a smile
As we stroll down the aisle
In Amsterdam or Copenhagen
Or any harbor that is a haven.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/10/any-place-i-hang-my-hat/309093/