Poets? What Are They Good For?

What if, all at once, I showed you
My head both inside and out,
If tricks of mind were as easy as talk?
We do of course live in a country of talk
Where shadows fall quickly over us
Where we lie from basic fright.

I love you, which is the truth,
But shiver my way to morning light
Where custom has no ardor.
No love, no truth in these United States.

My love, I can’t help it, I want
To be a poet whose lines house people—
Say that’s not a trick.
Our neighbors drown
In malevolence
And all I have are games.