These are the towns in Pennsylvania whose
names I like the most. Kutztown,
where I am almost clumsy, but not quite,
because this is where I am only a kutz
not a klutz, even with my thick fingers
and what feels like an odd rather
than even number of legs.
Indiana, Pennsylvania, where I lose
my sense of place in this state,
this state I think I am in, where
this text places me, between
all the cracked words. Intercourse,
there is nothing finer that to be
involved, engaged, in Intercourse,
in Pennsylvania among the shrubbery,
by the horse and buggy highways.
Oh, Intercourse, you are slow and sweet,
like old world inspiration. Hanover,
I have never been hungover in Hanover,
as I was in all those other places
when I was young, and could take it;
though I have felt alternately curved
and flat, there, like a potato chip
in a dreary factory where fools
come to watch things frying.
Bethlehem, where when I think
so highly of myself my wife has to wake me
from being too awake with myself.
Because it is during these times
in early winter that I am positive I am
being born here. But until then,
until she wakes me, I say unto you.
Come forth. Praise me. Then take me
to Paradise. And before the season’s
first snow let me down, gently,
upon this wandering soil.
Photograph (taken in Paradise Township, Pennsylvania) by Jose Padua