THREE POEMS BY RAYMOND CARVER
Naches River. Just below the falls.
Twenty miles from any town. A day
of dense sunlight
heavy with odors of love.
How long have we?
Already your body, sharpness of Picasso,
is drying in this highland air.
I towel down your back, your hips,
with my undershirt.
Time is a mountain lion.
We laugh at nothing,
and as I touch your breasts
even the ground-
Make use of the things around you.
This light rain
Outside the window, for one.
This cigarette between my fingers,
These feet on the couch.
The faint sound of rock-and-roll,
The red Ferrari in my head.
The woman bumping
Drunkenly around in the kitchen . . .
Put it all in,
Her brain is an attic where things
were stored over the years.
From time to time her face appears
in the little windows near the top of the house.
The sad face of someone who has been locked up
and forgotten about.
* all poems from New Path to the Waterfall, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989.