I Have Been Learning About People

I have been learn­ing
About people. She
Flicks a flicker of cigar­ette
Into the golden air like
She doesn’t mind that she might
Set the sky alight.


I have been learn­ing
That people are like row­boats
Pressed together at low tide
Rub­bing salty flanks with each
Rolling wave, find­ing where
The joints are weak­est,
Where they can let
The sea into the soul.


I have been learn­ing
That people are not fra­gile
Like glass; they are fra­gile
Like lan­guage
And mean as many things
As there are syn­onyms
In the stars
And are as dis­tant
And close
And require as much patience
And time
As the stars.


I have been learn­ing
That I will never stop learn­ing
About people
But per­haps I will under­stand people
Like the sea under­stands
The belly of the row­boat
And the night under­stands
The shout­ing stars
And the glass under­stands
The end­less desire of gravity.


Here are my joints. Here:
I am salt and read­i­ness,
Let the sea into my soul.

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