The Gardner’s Version, 1969

I find him at the bottom of the pool

but strangely: faceup. As if

he’s fallen asleep beneath the water

staring at the stars. And I assume


he went swimming last night

in his jeans and leather jacket

as he’s done before. I remember

thinking how clear and sharp


the stars were before I went

to bed, as if the window of sky

had been rubbed hard with

newspaper, the way I’ve seen


Maude go at the dining room

panes before guests arrive.

I asked her once, Why newspaper?

and she pointed at the glass: See?


No, I said, and she smiled: Exactly.

What constellation was he looking at?

He’s told me more than once

where they are, and invited me to look


in the telescope on the balcony.

I saw two smudges and a smear.

The moons of Uranus, he said.

I hook him under the arms with


the sweep and drag him to the surface.

There’s no need to hurry, I can see that.

With one heave I haul him on

the deck, and though there isn’t any


hope I kneel anyway to blow into

his body. I hear Maude scream

before I see her; she must think

I’m kissing him, as once in the woods


beyond the stable I kissed her.

I suppose I am. Good-bye, Mr. Jones.

And this time it’s his cheek I touch

with my fingers. Good-bye.