Billy Reynolds

It's about not wanting to choose
your row and plow it the rest of your life,
like the scratch farmer who hollered all his life
to a blind mule, gee, right, haw, left,

all the way to the end of the field and back.
It's about shooting such effortless bull
and letting it go as far a field as two
want to let talk go, and as for the subject

let's just say it's like these fire ants
marching in single file to that catbird
stretched out in Bermuda grass,
which is to say from lack to lack.

It's about jabbering nonsense
and hauling it up the gangplank,
and the heart's affections, like a kite's string,
drifting away with turtle clouds

and scraps of conversations.
It's about furniture of air
and our words reaching for
the perfect book high on the shelf

for both then and now.




"Leaving Kalamazoo" is for James D'Agostino, whose first collection of poetry, Nude with Anything, is forthcoming from New Issues Press in Fall 2006.