Teacher of Grass

Those who sleep, doubt, fall
on their faces from lying positions
while the dross of street lamps and chatter
of night-shift life run on the darkness.

Sleep is the ordination of senses.
Let the lonely bureau preach it,
confident in its bowl of change.

Let the options of interpretation remain
throughout the morning until in the rebus
of day, day descending, the ambiguity seems
specific: kiss at the top of a Grand Central stair,
cool as the tunnel breeze, her and her leaving
with the city slung over one shoulder.

For this to happen the world must be
both stubbornly lawful and temporary.

For the city to appear so clearly and suddenly,
the heart must be godly; sleeping waking.
Confirmation then was in her touch sinking in;
knowing remembering.

When the dream recurs, then what?

You’ll know Grand Central Station was everywhere
on a rainy day when you leaned out and kissed
at the top of a stair—the city resurrected.

Chard deNiord is the poet laureate of Vermont and author of six books of poetry, most recently Interstate, (The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). His book of essays and interviews with seven senior American poets (Galway Kinnell, Donald Hall. Maxine Kumin, Jack Gilbert, Ruth Stone, Lucille Clifton, Robert Bly) titled Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, Conversations and Reflections on 20th Century American Poets was published by Marick Press in 2011. He is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Providence College and a trustee of the Ruth Stone Trust. He lives in Westminster West, Vermont with his wife Liz.