Walks for Girls and Boys

Anne Carson

for RC

1. Huron River

We walked by the river its arms all gold
in winter sun like tin.
Workshops of afternoon hummed along elsewhere.
We noted ice at the shore
and ice on plants
and ice from the light fixtures under the railway bridge exploding –
Squid, you said.
Time toppled past us.
There were no trains, no sunset.
Geese lapped at an edge, eyes inward on their sunk city.

2. The Pool in Winter

Walking to the pool in winter I think of you.
And sway on them (thoughts) in the water too, blue, ablaze, you,
who once asked me
Do you ever swim really fast?
and I, wanting to be great to you,
said Oh yes, busily and pretended to laugh.
The pool has a deep clear sky like a marsh.
Bright as tongues is every light.
So I go on, my life goes, a few lies, a sweep of love, lap
after lap, ordinary motion and something else sent
past vast glass out of sight.

3. Chicago

Shrieks (white) and shades (suede) of dirty cold.
I walked down Montrose to the shore of the lake.
Past a shut Park Bait Shop and a boat
named Temperance II,
boat named Mr Bright Eye,
mud-knobbed fields,
rusted-out barbecue from medieval times.
Dog on the beach cavorting bleakly.
Lake is as ugly as a motel room.
Walls don’t meet. Stains sag. One angel yawns in a horny heaven.
Against north wind I struggle back to where I was warm when I woke.
On the teapot a note from you about breathing.

4. Wild Sex

I walked to a coast.
The moon was in tumult.
It reminded me of walking down the alley where (you pointed) the pile of bricks used to be,
in the days when hookers came in from the street
and built a bit of a wall there
to take their tricks behind.
Each morning Dave (landlord) unbuilt the wall.
He never put the bricks anywhere else, like
inside.
It reminded me of a feeling of ‘sudden school’ I get
whenever men mention hookers
casually.
It reminded me of the word glissando.