a la Freddie Mercury, fancying
themselves in tights and ballet slippers—
so tres charmant, my dear—but
to avoid post-school pummelings
their apparel proclaims allegiance
to Aerosmith, Zep, the home team.
Kids who have never heard of James Dean,
the adults' autumnal rectitude:
I've never been so happy to be dead!
Mothers, you only see some of what you see.
Amid the corn and soybeans and tv glow,
we are approaching the pole of inaccessibility,
where summer brings with it a kind of despair,
as do winter, spring, and fall.
Future farmwives of America, prepare
yourselves: you only see some of what you see.
"Frank O'Hara in Iowa, 1980" originally appeared in issue #42 of Cairn.