Those finger-sized furry combs,those baggy strips of forehead sod,so often christened "caterpillars,"as if one could lean their headagainst a tree and their plus-sized browscould scoot off onto a leaf.They can't, of course, and yet,even if they could, who would wantto shoo their eager eye hats?I say good for anything that gathers thick.Good for the numerous over the few.If alone, the single hair could lift awaylike dandelion seed, but whatever is legionresists. So much could go amissand yet, there's more and more of it.Take the peach tree—pruned,it still flowers from its dozen limbs.Or how the brushstrokes gatherone by one and the portrait artistslowly learns a face. Or even how,after death, the pallbearersmake the body levitate. At leastthat's the way I'm trying to think of it.Calamity kicks in the door, and the onewho wore his loneliness like a second shirtis suddenly surrounded and mourned.The organ rises from the back of the church.It takes three fingers to play a chord. [End Page 101]
Keith Leonard is the author of the poetry collection Ramshackle Ode (Mariner-Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). His poems are forthcoming in the Believer, Ploughshares, and Shenandoah. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences, and Indiana University, where he earned an MFA. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.