POEM BY Jacqueline Osherow, University of Utah
One chord of a harmonica can take
me back, or a name — Johanna, Mr. Jones —
to that Eden of stretched-out afternoons
on the living room carpet, an open math book
neglected at my elbow, index cards
untouched beside it in a fallow stack.
I’m halfway in a trance, half trying to crack
each cipher in the snarled onrush of words
surging through the stereo’s dark mesh.
Something is happening and you don’t know
what it is . . . I’m fourteen. Of course that’s true
but I get an inkling — as limits vanish —
of word as lightning flash, wick, whiplash, arrow
and soon-to-be accomplice. Dylan, thank you.