Howling Down the Hill
 
    Charles Pratt
Tonight the dog is howling down the hill
Again, howling to wake the dead, to wake
Our lawyer neighbor, who calls to tell us so:
Your dog's been howling half the night all week
As if we didn't know.

What does she howl at so? The moon's not full.
All night she lay in stupor by the fire,
Then whimpered to go out, as dogs must do;
Nothing to spook her we could see or hear,
And so we let her go.

And now she won't come back, although we call
And call. Something is there, my wife says, deer,
Or beavers building in the swamp below
The hill. But I say, no, nothing is there;
She howls to tell us so.

Over and over that elemental howl
Rises against the darkness overhead.
The lawyer wakes and calls to tell us. Oh,
She howls as if she means to wake the dead,
As if we didn't know.




Marital Sex
 

    Charles Pratt
1.Watching the Eclipse from the Bedroom
      Window

Three spheres slide precisely into place.
Shadow of earth brings blood to the pale moon's
      face.
Celestial rhyming! What metaphor for this
Collusion of heavenly bodies but heavenly kiss?

      A distant kiss and perverse the pairs of lips.

Five, counting ours. Love, lets eclipse th' eclipse.

2.Gestures of Love

Now that we've made love, you turn your back
And settle into sleep. I lie alone.
My fingers trace you, curving like a hook
Hung in deep waters, all its soft bait gone.

3.Aubade after Twenty-five Years

Somewhere halfway down the closet, my pants turn
     to your pants.
Mine on top, yours on top, our sweaters have sex
      on the shelves.
My foot pokes a hole in your sock, you're
      lost in my shirt
As laughing in half-light we try to
      unscramble ourselves.


 
 
 
 

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