We celebrated our distance from New York,
high-fived each other as our words
debuted in Open Books and Floating Bridge,
Elliott Bay, and the daze of The Typing Explosion.
That’s what they will call us you predicted
as we stood on the edge of Summit Avenue
near Broadway, The Seattle School, while the newfangled
streetlight wandered in and out of power.
We were younger then, with little idea
of poetry schools, just a sense of the work we revered:
my Bishop to your Rilke and Celan.
No herons on our pages, no water views.
Our lives as the poets barely minted,
we attempted daily practice, failed
at monastic prayer, and acquired several cats.
We were nobodies inhabiting blue basements
until step by step our bright lives
extended upwards and soon our books
caught between us, some breadcrumbs of awards.
Tonight I want to return to that streetlight—
the long night’s amble into iambs
and hold tight to our glitter of ambitions—
irregular as the blinking bulb.