All young cops have soft
mild eyes. Their upbringing is lavish.
They walk between blueberries and ferns,
rescuing grannies from rising waters.
With the motion of a hand they ask for
a snack from those plastic bags. They
sit down on tree stumps, looking at valleys
and thinking of their moms. But woe is me
if a young one gets mad. A Scourge
of God rings, with a club that later you can
borrow to blot your bare feet.
Every cop wears a cap, his head murmuring under it
A sled rushes down a slope in his dreams.
Whomever he kills, he brings spring to,
whomever he touches has a wound inscribed.
I would give my granny and my
grandpa, my mom and my pa, my wife
and my son to a cop to play with.
He would tie up my granny’s white hair,
but he’d probably chop up my son
on the stump of a tree. The cop himself would be sad
that his toy was broken. That’s the way they are
when smoking pot: melancholy. They take off
their caps and breathe their tears into them.
Actually, they’re like camels riding
in the desert, as if it were the wet palm of a hand.
Used with permission by Harcourt, Copyright 2006.