If I have to, then let me be the whaler poet,
launcher of the knife, portioning off
the pink cut, salt trim and fat, tipping
the larger waste off the side of the boat,
and then to have the poem in the drawer;
or, perhaps, let it be the poet nurse,
hearts measured by a small watch, balmer,
washer of old skin, stopping by the door
in the night –
or the oil-driller poet, primed
for the buried flame and heat, lips to the black,
aware how the oilfields in the evening
are lit like our own staggered desks.
Or, the horse-trader or the smith, or the waiter poet –
offering the choice wine, polishing to the light,
the bringer of the feast and the bill.