Friends and Lovers
For twenty years I lived
in the house of my parents
and read their books
and drank their wine.
For forty years now I
fashioned my house
in the blueprints of theirs.
Only recently have I begun
to open the old closet doors
open the drawers of bureaus
unopened for sixty years,
and find them empty, waiting
for something new to fill them,
knowing that was my job, not
earning the same coins over again.
Not lying in those closed boxes
with all my friends and lovers.
The End of the Alley
Somebody has thought the whole thing out—
the reason for being/what happens in death/what goes on,
but has no formal education and no words to explain
and knows there’s no reason to say anyway.
Just keeps you wondering. Words are like that
printed on billboards or scratched into the earth,
shocked onto digital tapes or hollowed into the wind.
A woman with dark hair, perfume, and blue eyes
lives down an alley between the folds of a map.
She has been waiting from before she was born,
buys sheets at Target and gowns at Saks and sings
to a melody you have never known never will.
The artists come and go as she grows old.
Bankers’ eyes glitter through pin box telescopes.
Jared Smith’s 13th book of poetry, Shadows Within the Roaring Fork, will be published by Left Fork Press. His website is www.jaredsmith.info.