Green Night

(Summer, 1982)

We walked down the path to breakfast.
The morning swung open like an iron gate.

We sat in Adirondack chairs and argued
for hours about the self—it wasn’t personal—

and the nature of nature, the broken
Word, the verse of God in fragments.

We trotted back and forth to readings.
The trees were the greenest I had ever seen.

We cut bread from a large brown loaf
at a long wooden table in the mountains.

A farmer hayed the meadows
and the afternoon flared around us.

Pass the smoky flask. Pass the cigarettes:
twenty smoldering friends in a package.

We swam in the muddy pond at dusk.
The sky was a purple I had never seen.

Someone was always hungover,
scheming with rhymes, hanging out.

Nothing could quench our thirst for each other.
At the bonfire, we flamed with words.

The houses were named after trees.
I slept with someone at the top of a maple.

It was a green night to be a poet in those days.
We didn’t care if the country didn’t care about us.