From The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats

 

 

The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats

 

At the inauguration no one wore hats, not even

the poet whose hair the wind shaped into a fin.

We sat at the kitchen table trying to figure out

how we would make a living now that the river

no longer flowed carrot-orange to the Sound.

 

We used to tell the children that its fish wore

fedoras and suffered from mercury shakes,

twitching, lurching, losing scales as we would hair.

Every street used to be a river of hats and when

a war was won a sea of hats would suddenly appear.

 

Every day we’d walk to work leaning into the wind,

hands on our hats, and never once did we think

the factory doors would close and never once

did we notice the frost late on the lawns

like an interlude in a slaughtering of moths.