Reading Ashbery in Eau
The roof booms. He’s perfect
for this small apartment, wallaby amok
in the crawlspace, white asparagus
flaccid at last, indifferent snow, port in a cracked glass.
Quadruplets, these residences: shared walls, one bold
V inverted, draped on the lot of us, white
with worry. Where’s the avalanche? The cannon?
Where I come from, dogs run in the streets: snow, no snow.
Or it’s black. Geese eclipse a peripheral star, honk
like Renaults. Sound has an edge. We cut
Christmas men out of skyline. Maybe it’s the West, too much
of a good thing, the rest trimmed with a sharp knife. Here
chains on macadam, the guy two over hanging
the portrait of an ingénue, pounding in one ten-penny
after another. Or not. I’ve had enough
of ambiguity: the line of shrouded trees,
the llama on the crooked road,
the failing gray.