Jeff B. is asking bloggers to post their own favorite work. This poem is my favorite.
The poem came to me one afternoon as I took a walk through Iowa City. I suddenly heard myself softly pronouncing the first few lines. I was startled. I rushed home, and wrote the poem in less than twenty minutes. I showed it to Mark Levine a week later. He commented that it was very different from anything else that I'd shown him. He suggested two small revisions. I agreed with him, and I haven't tinkered with this poem since.
I love the way this poem unfurls. It's seamless. I love the tension between the beauty of the images and the terror the title conjures forth. And that ending! The ending is gorgeous--if I do say so myself.