put his hat of felt on
put his pants and belt on
and his shoes of leather
meet for any weather.
His outfit put together
no hesitation whether
he should go outside— Aye! I shall! He cried!
And with furious stride
went out through the wide
open front door.
Never yet before
had traveler set out
with fewer pangs of doubt
and such a shout!
I heard of a girl who told that she was haunted by her father
even when he was still alive
she was a Lesbian and lived in Berlin
back when you’d still capitalize Lesbian
like there was a homeland you’d visit some day
she’d let you know her father had more than one quirk
That man’s name goes in a drawer, was a thing he’d say
I heard she told that her father was unforgiving
unforgiving like God, that kind of unforgiving
I heard she was the kind who stayed careful always
not to allow love to overcome
respect for distance
and recognized that after all people, they are dangerous
even if they never act, even if they smile
and that you’ll never know everything wrong with the world
That man’s name goes in a drawer, her father would say
not to beat around the bush
I heard after her father pulled the trigger
they opened the drawer, sure enough it was full of names
I heard that was always the end of her story
but I believe it must have left her to wonder
what else that her father had said was going to come true
That man’s name goes in a drawer, that’s what he used to say
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Was heard on occasion to say
That only the author of Euclid’s Elements
Had ever seen Beauty without habiliments.
One supposes she meant to imply that people who do maths
Have taken quite the best of all available paths
And that study of the other sciences might be eschewed
If one wished for a chance to see Beauty nude.
But I wonder what she’d have said had she lived to learn
About the physicists at CERN
Who have managed to catch the Higgs Boson
Without any clothes on?