Winter 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 1 Poetry |

Green River Cemetery

Grace to be born and live as variously as possible.—Frank O'Hara's epitaph O his epitaph is happy—A small shoal of grace: To beBorn and to live variously— Unlike her tragic headstone:Smooth, with another's nameAppended. They lie in Green River, near where I off & onLive. Yet dying takes us far &Variously, as Frank says, his Tablet lying flat, like a toyShield cast aside, its carvedWords brightening in sun. Sometimes I come hereWith poets who spend timeAmong the names, loitering— As on the page. WaitingFor a phrase, lighting upA smoke: a touch of white Space between characters.All around us are the wildPlots of artists: painted boulders, Signed mirrors. But the poetsKneel down to read: FrankO'Hara, Jean Stafford. Remember Each dream you believe isYours, you who sometimes bideOn the grounds of Green River.

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