David Rivard
I love you
I know as much as anything
for your courage
so companionably invisible
as it is
that it passes mostly
as simple
good sense. I don’t mean you’re
practical at all—god forbid—
only persistent
as far as dying brothers & cold calls
are concerned—not violent,
not weak, but like a lantern afloat on a wave
open if necessary
to sinking your light
offshore. Onshore
I am as you would know
strongly sometimes
impatient & inside a swarm of loud thoughts
self-absorbed & locked-up.
If you were to die
who would remove me
from those thoughts?
When you lean your forehead
against mine
what you hear inside there
are all those
sounds likely, vibrations
like windowpanes rattled by headland squalls
or bullet trains
late forever & loaded down
with passengers green
as hoodie-wearing witches.
I lean my forehead against
your forehead
gently knowing both
will shortly vanish.
"First of all," says Virgil, "find
a protected place
for the bees
to make their
honey, a place that’s
safe from wind."
Found In Volume 37, No. 04
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David Rivard
About the Author

In addition to Standoff, David Rivard is the author of five other books: Otherwise Elsewhere, Sugartown, Bewitched Playground, Wise Poison, winner of the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Torque, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Among his awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, and the NEA, as well as two Shestack Prizes from American Poetry Review and the Hardison Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, in recognition of both his writing and teaching.  He teaches in the MFA in Writing program at the University of New Hampshire.