Montauk (in response to lines by A. R. Ammons)


her joy
was rotting fish heads
& it would cost
my calf muscles
as much as
a broken-field runner
to get to
where she could find them
in the accidental vise grip
of rocks
and rusting iron
beyond the last pier
& no matter how much
I towelled and rinsed
her muzzle afterwards
she would reek
of death and brine
for days –
but you either
love your dog
or you don’t


turned in
by the bayshore
and parked,
the crosswind
hitting me hard
side the head,
the bay scrappy
and working:
what a
way to read
Williams! till
a woman came
and turned
her red dog loose
to sniff
(and piss
the dead horseshoe

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