When Melville Met Hawthorne

I felt glorious for four whole weeks–

imagining you and I on a canoe

a placid lake beneath us, a raging conversation between–

about the trees around us, the birds mimicking each other

about Minute Men and mercenaries

about why Melville rewrote “Moby Dick” after he met Hawthorne

that’s what I’m doing now, by the way–

after the fifth week and into the sixth

I’m rewriting everything–

the way my hair stands on my head

the way I speak to strangers on North Ave.

the way I ask for help when someone offers Kentucky rye

and I feel ridiculous most days–

my unkempt hair serifs in the back

my words on the sidewalk come out Comic Sans

my pleas get lost in gutteral gulps

I felt glorious and now I don’t–

but no one is to blame

if Melville could do rewrite his landscape for a loved one–

the least I can do is find words for my own undoing.





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