I could have written sooner to thank you
all—too many short notes with succinct
and caring phrases to count, too much
heart to consider, then bear, at once.
A man can drown in his own gratefulness
rising, hold his breath and hope he will float.
I think of all the doors cracked open for me,
peeks into other worlds, other ways of seeing.
It was all new once, each wisp a sign
of more to come, or to help me remember
my way home. But on the loose, youth
can be confusing chasing rabbits for the run
or fun of it. You may be still spinning in space
writing poetry with Ginsberg on Hale-Bopp,
but you gave me work when I needed it,
pride in what my hands could do, solace
in small and calloused accomplishment,
a place to go to find the truth flourishing
around me, wisdom and a strong distrust
of handsome faces and all government.