The Seattle School

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.