Nights Your Wife Is Gone

by Thomas Zimmerman

Neruda’s lying facedown on the desk:
Cien sonetos de amor, and Getz—
Sweet Rain—is on the stereo. Now let’s
just take a breath before a Dylanesque

montage kicks in. A Guinness draft’s in front
of you; the pasta’s on the boil. And here’s
to Robert Bly: Don’t comb your hair. The seer’s
gone blind. Don’t call your mother; she’ll just stunt

your growth. Get torn to pieces; paint till dawn.
Don’t sweep the floor; don’t take the bottles back.
Plead guilty; you’ll be sentenced to a thou-

sand years of joy. Leave scraps for hellhounds on
your trail. Relax. The king’s in check. Attack.
The only thing you really know is now.