Oyster Boy Review 05  
  September 1996
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» Levee 67



Jon Powell

In class, at Bloomington, I passed back
your funny note.
And then, years went by.
Love is like that:

it grows, it dies.

you said you
wanted me to come to your MFA graduation,
that no one from Chicago could,

but after that, you wanted to drive
the Gulf coast alone. Something
you needed. In the dawn's mist
I saw you leave, swallowed
into dunes, sea oats,
the cries of gulls. The morning's brilliant fog. And

if there is something of this equation
out of kilter,
unbalancing the scales measuring,

it is not tactile,

visible in every spectrum of light,
or through hindsight's gauze.
It is, rather,

like the deer

we once saw, frozen for one moment, then,
unbound by fear,
leapt away, leaving us
diminished, wanting.

Love is like this:
a deer slips into silver foliage,
someone drives away.

We obey natural laws,
unable, often, to see glimmerings
surrounding us—
the tide's rise and fall,

daybreak's chrome bled
into the night, or
a city's death.

Our fathers, and then the ones we loved,
had their hand
in our making.