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Cheap Legs

John Ashbery

His wives liked him.
To be comfortable in his facial hair
is as much and as little of a man
as one can ask.

Languid articles you don’t know where
are what brought us to the party,
exchanged trivial sorrow for one big one
just as the old man had predicted.
The moon, daubed an inauspicious hue,
that night, was determined to see it through,
“make an end run around darkness,”
someone said.
                        As long as there were two
of them, it didn’t matter, or mattered
in another way, like momentum.

And who’s to say we didn’t gradually understand
our situation, along with everyone else’s?
The way a whole city, standing, radiates glee?

The morning after, that’s who.