James Dickey

Rookie (2 February 1923 – 19 January 1997 / Atlanta, Georgia)

Adultery


We have all been in rooms
We cannot die in, and they are odd places, and sad.
Often Indians are standing eagle-armed on hills

In the sunrise open wide to the Great Spirit
Or gliding in canoes or cattle are browsing on the walls
Far away gazing down with the eyes of our children

Not far away or there are men driving
The last railspike, which has turned
Gold in their hands. Gigantic forepleasure lives

Among such scenes, and we are alone with it
At last. There is always some weeping
Between us and someone is always checking

A wrist watch by the bed to see how much
Longer we have left. Nothing can come
Of this nothing can come

Of us: of me with my grim techniques
Or you who have sealed your womb
With a ring of convulsive rubber:

Although we come together,
Nothing will come of us. But we would not give
It up, for death is beaten

By praying Indians by distant cows historical
Hammers by hazardous meetings that bridge
A continent. One could never die here

Never die never die
While crying. My lover, my dear one
I will see you next week

When I'm in town. I will call you
If I can. Please get hold of Please don't
Oh God, Please don't any more I can't bear . . . Listen:

We have done it again we are
Still living. Sit up and smile,
God bless you. Guilt is magical.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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