Richard Kenney


So, Love, when that celebrated clarifier,
Chemotherapy, calls back—for us,

this time, with his white, apologetic smile,
his porcelain saucers of carbolic acid and lye,

his banker’s insistence on reality-based accounting,
well, we’ll want these chances back. The canting

hours, the fund of unkisses, the mind, unMidas-
like, immodest ever in miniature amidst

the molten metals of the morning, his brazing-iron
of petty anger held against the pure ore

of the already-gold world.

RICHARD KENNEY’s collections of poems include Orrery, The Invention of the Zero, and One-Strand River: Poems 1994-2007. He teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Washington.

image: Edward Hopper, Morning Sun, 1952