What I loved in 2009

In uncertain order, so as to more accurately reflect the scattershot inner business of my brains, and my year:

Three things enchanted him:
white peacocks, evensong,
and faded maps of America.
He couldn’t stand bawling brats,
or raspberry jam with his tea,
or womanish hysteria.
…And he was tied to me.
— "Three Things Enchanted Him," by Anna Akhmatova (trans. by Stanley Kunitz with Max Hayward)
  • and this one:
There is this tea
I have sometimes,
Pan Long Ying Hao,
so tightly curled
it looks like tiny roots
gnarled, a greenish-gray.
When it steeps, it opens
the way you woke this morning,
stretching, your hands behind
your head, back arched,
toes pointing, a smile steeped
in ceremony, a celebration,
the reaching of your arms.
— "Green Tea," by Dale Ritterbusch