MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! A Robert Hass Prose-Poem Impertinently Versified

Hassless

For a summer week he watched her;
she watched him watching her.

He wrote his music; thought of her,
sixtyish, Japanese; flat-breasted like a boy;

she brushed her paintings; thought of him,
young, eyes like an untamed pony;

he grew to love the discipline in her painting;
she loved straightway his wild indiscipline.

That warm night when, on her tidy, well-swept doorstep,
music yet unwritten met rice-paper yet to be inked,

she told him of her mastectomy;
he looked her in the eye; held hands; and bid goodnight.

The blue bowl on his porch the morning after
full of rose-petals; underneath, dead bees.

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