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Spring, by Kenneth Koch

February 26, 1995

Let's take a walk

In the city

Till our shoes get wet

(It's been raining

All night) and when

We see the traffic

Lights and the moon

Let's take a smile

Off the ashcan, let's walk

Into town (I mean

A lemon peel)


Let's make music

(I hear the cats

Purply beautiful

Like hallways in summer

Made of snowing rubber

Valence piccalilli and diamonds)

Oh see the arch ruby

Of this late March sky

Are you less intelligent

Than the pirate of lemons

Let's take a walk


I know you tonight

As I have never known

A book of white stones

Or a bookcase of orange groans

Or symbolism

I think I'm in love

With those imaginary racetracks

Of traced grey in

The sky and the gimcracks

Of all you know and love

Who once loathed firecrackers

And licence plates and

Diamonds but now you love them all


And just for my sake

Let'S take a walk

Into the river

(I can even do that

Tonight) where

If I kiss you please

Remember with your shoes off

You're so beautiful like

A lifted umbrella orange

And white we may never

Discover the blue over--

Coat maybe never never O blind

With this (love) let's walk

Into the first

Rivers of morning as you are seen

To be bathed in a light white light

Come on

From "On the Great Atlantic Rainway: Selected Poems 1950-1988" by Kenneth Koch. (Knopf: $25; 323 pp.) Reprinted by permission.

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