Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Poetry: James Tate

James Tate

I heard something coming,
something like a motorcycle,
something horrible with pistons awry,
with camshafts about to fill the air
with redhot razory shrapnel.
At the window, I see nothing.
Correction: I see two girls

playing tennis, they have no
voices, only the muted thump
of the ball kissing the racket,
the sound of a snowball
hitting a snowman, the sound

of a snowman's head rolling
into the river, a snowman with
an alarm clock for a heart
deep inside him. Listen:
someone is breathing.

Someone has a problem
breathing. Someone is blowing
smoke through a straw.
Someone has stopped breathing.
Amazing. Someone broke
his wrist this morning,
broke it into powder.
He did it intentionally.
He had an accident

while breathing. He was exhaling
when his wrist broke.

it's a woman breathing.
She's not even thinking
about it. She's thinking
about something else.


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