Last Infirmity

O poem, poem! What possibility
has either of us got to be remembered
unless we can appeal over my head?
What if next Tuesday as I cross the street
that takes me to the cleaners I should walk
under the wheels of a truck (Calvucci & Sons/
Produce/ Revere Mass) while thinking of
a way to the right result in Nicaragua?
What would become of dear unfinished you,
crammed dogeared in a folder, vulnerable phrases
half-scratched-out? Whose hand then would smooth you,
uncrumple you, berate you? You and I
would have to take a pow der together, ashes
in a tarnished urn, scraps of desperate paper
scuttling across the dump, your message whelmed
by the flurry of a thousand scavenger gulls.
—Peter Davison