Another Version of Our Love
by Jay Parini We crossed the water over midnight waves, the two of us, revising once again, with Norway pines like pencils on the moon-white parchment, scribbling for our lives. I hauled our boat up on the bank beside a willow with its braids undone. We found each other, slowly, in the cabin dark; we reached like willow roots for water, more sweet water, trying to recall some version of our love lost in those woods a time before. The log fire slumped from wood to ash, as night's swift shuttle pierced the loom, and we woke blackened in our limbs at dawn, the fire-pit drawn, all passion spent in crumpled sheets we'd cast away, the rain like smolder on the pine-tarred roof, the cabin drafty, cold and bare.
From "Town Life" (Henry Holt: $10.95, paper; 80 pp.). Parini, a younger poet teaching at Middlebury College, Vt., has published one previous collection of poems and two novels, including "The Patch Boys" (1986), set, as some of his poetry is, in the Pennsylvania coal-mining country. The title section of this collection is preceded by sections dealing with, roughly, private life, artistic life (10 "portraits of the artist" at different ages), and religious life.