"In those years formalism was part of the strategy--like asbestos gloves, it allowed me to handle materials I couldn't pick up bare-handed."--Adrienne Rich, in "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision", from On Lies, Secrets, and Silence, Selected Prose 1966 - 1978

So I...

...drove around back of your boarded-up heart,
by the tall weeds and packing-case caves,
where your dogs bark at anyone carrying flowers
while they struggle and pull at their chains.

...took a collection of busted-up bottles
I needed to fill in your grave--
why don't you initial one stone, in this shower
of hail-and-farewell in the rain?

Not once,                         I've said,
but once-                         too far
times-often                         from your ear,


"Goodbye"                         the blow--
--rhyming                         like this:
to soften                                     ?