Larry Moffi


I had an old pair of binoculars,
Zeitz, well made in Germany,
somebody who loved me once
offered, thinking soon I could be
far away, at sea. Well beyond
oceanic horizons I have found it easy
to neglect what tends to
become of the dust, eventually,
between threads of the lens casing.

Until they surfaced last week
among the discard pile of junk that
accumulates with an intimacy of
life itself, I had forgotten
how warm they press, like
a healing against the sockets
of my eyes, the temptation of anything
distant, as I held the two black
pebbled barrels inside my fists.

I'm not much good at riddles
machines pose in disassembly. I never
owned an erector set or consistently
deduced in school the wild and
many molecular ideograms that
distinguish acid from base. But
I can speak at least of honor
bestowed by a man resolved
toward the miraculous.

At the common periphery
of neighborhoods, our semi-annual
flea market where little sells
for worth, he found me. One
hundred white robins, at least,
he whispered, and I want
to be ready next time. So I
accepted his money, exactly
what I was asking, his awe
as honest as the exchange that
lives even now between us.

Larry Moffi
Larry Moffi's poems have appeared in Poetry, The Ohio Review, TriQuarterly, The Antioch Review, Crazy Horse, California Quarterly, and elsewhere. Formerly Director of Publications for the Associated Writing Programs, for six years, from its inception to its demise, he was managing editor of CommonQuest: The Magazine of Black/Jewish Relations. He works now as a freelance writer and editor. He is the author of three collections of poems, most recently A Citizen’s Handbook (Orchises Press) and two non-fiction books on baseball. His book on the office of the Commissioner of Baseball, The Conscience of the Game, will be published next summer by the University of Nebraska Press.



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