While she uproots blooming irises from the backyard

Where they grow for no one

And brings them to the flower bed next to the road,

Gusts of wind and sun blind her and make her feel lost.


She digs with her fingers to feel the reality of soil

Not as harsh as the pain of letting go

Or as otherworldly as the bird’s nest which

She knocks over with her shoulder.


But she looks for that softness and warmth

That will be a sort of home––after death.


The father wobbles in his sandals towards the flowers

Thinking of the image of his heart on the monitor––

A muscle the size of his fist flickering with the weight of light.


She plants a row of irises on the side of house and he smiles

At fragrant violet and white petals unfolding:

“In July we’ll have gladiolas and next year

Let’s get lots of colors, lots of colors.”


She tells him that the peonies and geraniums and roses and lilies

Grow so strongly it must be a good sign: he will get better, she says.


This is the hour when there is only time for

Delicate colors around the gray house, the locus trees in the yard

From which they take armfuls of blossoms and bring them in

And fill the rooms with white scent of blown spring.







The bells follow each other and respond with

Last night’s conversation and almost incidental

Kisses you waste on my mouth like table wine.


“Love me or hate me but don’t just like me” you

Say tragically like one who has seen how it all ends

Almost like death and like birth of pain at once.


So thins morning finds me sleeping in the little cave

You made in the center of the bed, just as you say:
Desperate for hands, skin and love and alone.


I love you with the penitence of solitude and horror

And I will give nothing beyond these words which

March and beat themselves against towers and air.


Let Sundays parade like women on the dance floor

You tangle with on the way to me: beautiful, careless

Utterly dumb and deaf to what you are afraid to give.







A shadow wrings her hands in a room full of light.

She lives in the possible palms of a lover––

How they made a violin of her body in his attic flat

And how morning arrived clear with loss

Like a knife slicing kisses.


She recalls the resolute music of sheets and limbs

Entangled in what has no name––

A spell, she thinks, destroyed with words.


This October wind comes through the window

Like he does––uninterrupted, caressing––

And vanishes the same, yet leaves

Invisible traces of love on her cheeks.


He will permeate her like absence

Until she will disappear at evening––

Without reproach, unshadow, unself

And not alone, once again.







Wet leaf slapped itself against the glass,

You turned directly to my mouth in the crowd

Then slid down

Lowered yourself to my waist

Leaving the mark of its width along the window.

Until, transparent, I bore your kiss on my belly.