Porch Steps


Robert Pinsky

What are the young lovers? Two souls, Which is to say a flowing and a flowing, Two congeries of shadows, in a garden.

Or congeries of moment, changing shape: A buoy and an anchor, a roof, an anvil, A curtain drawn across another curtain

Or else undrawn, or raveled and unraveled. An interpenetration of lacks and echoes Like cartoon bees that swarm to make a figure,

Hammer or hypodermic or arrow in air After the victim. Cupid’s cruel arrow. The eyes. Collaboration itself a third that shadows

Two children playing House. A courtly or bumpkin Art of the body, curtsey in the dance of wants And havings, clashes and celebration. The teeming

Molecules that comprise a gas or brick Passengers in that seeming single body. And later? A congeries of shadows, a house,

The style Queen Anne, each panel of the siding Varying the surface, the kinds of shingle: Chisel, Fishscale and Sawtooth, spandrels, each window different,

Curtained and echoed, each porch and privacy Another shape. Fear of the ending. Children Shouting. Parts sounding: latch-tongue, strike-plate, hinge,

The interpenetrant echoing of the valves Of door and window. Oil and paint refreshed And weathered, care for the caretakers. Motes in sun.