Ambitions

Someone smashed last

week through the neighbor’s

glass back door

and stole his electric guitar.

 

Or the mouse in the trap:

Sweet crumb still sweetening

between its teeth, and the whole

history of its species, in

attics, in grain sacks, in

 

the golden ideal of the golden field.

 

The way the sad child returns to his

sad seat

after sharpening his pencil.

 

Or the newlyweds’ rowboat

at the bottom of an ocean.

 

And the woman on the front porch

who keeps discarding things from her heart:

 

The deathbed.  The divorce.  The friend

in the restaurant

in the booth near the window. The glass.

The glare.  The impatience

 

on her friend’s face as the friendship ended.

 

Somewhere tonight a thief

is attempting to play

an electric guitar.

The wolves have already worn

a dark path in the grass around his house.

They’ve

 

not yet

begun to howl.

But they will howl:

 

These great ambitions, slinking

back one day

through the mess they’ve made

to return

the infernal thing.