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
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.