Impromptu Love Song
John Estes (bio)

The gravel beneath a road keeps
firm the whole. Every secret, always,
tends to do with surface area.
The many would always rather not be the one.
Lysistrata said: keep your garden tended
lest it go to seed. She meant, I think,
the same thing a lover told me
once: a husband should never leave
his woman alone for long.
The latter, though unfigured, is poetic
how Milosz is poetic when he says
one should rarely, reluctantly,
write poems for fear of shame or worse.
Just as one should break up
and excavate a paved road only with care,
only when need arises, as funds
and the neighbors’ good will allows.
A city flourishes at the pleasure of those who
know how to keep water and trucks
in motion. Every site is a site of renewal.
But consider the engineers,
who rely upon math verified by math.
Consider this joy: a quantum
of power no match against itself.

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