Beggar’s Lice

I have kept everything
she gave me, I still
take my hair out of the ponytail
before I sleep

I look
at every woman I admire
with the look she taught me,
fi ngering for luck
the semiprecious stone of her reply

I keep
the good nights like useless old coins
and spend them
on my rare overcast occasions
like so many moons

and I miss her
only when I climb this hill
to gather all the sun’s
long fine hair in my hands
and kiss the lolling hip of the hills
across my hollow at sunset—

(Coming home
I find I’ve gathered only these
small seeds
called beggar’s lice)