Monday, April 06, 2009

Black Tulips Grown in Missing Gardens

Places lost to us or places we go to do our losing,
mourn our lost. Statues there, and on good days
they’re not us. I say it but I don’t mean it—not today.

I’ve hurt myself at least three different ways
and I’m missing nine-hundred things or more.
I lost my rent check, my willpower, my way.

I’m missing the sycamore, the ill-love
at the root of it, the someone who told
me if you rub the bark, it releases

the scent of vanilla. Then a someone to magicize trees,
to see features: each crease on that old man’s face
risen true from the oak. The someone to see the dice

of expressions on faces framed in windows
from a faraway train. (His voice the only voice
that makes me cry.) I’ve hurt myself three times

today and counting, but nothing like memory:
the bamboo fence, our saint-rabbit’s grave
robbed, the dainty-bones gone and what gave

anyone the right to take them away? The painted stone
we placed there to mark the place--gone
too--and who knew how cruel any one

season might be? I miss it. Most of all on days
like today, where the snow follows sun follows snow
again and I don’t know if what I’m missing

is what I miss or the other way or if I’ve just braced myself
as the tulips have closed their mouths before they can say:
You invited us. Why treat us this way?


Lesley said...

This is beautiful. But do not miss too much, for I shall find you by the banks of the Nanette River...

a-smk said...

Lordy, what a threat. Where the hair is wonderful and the croissants so light they float to the rafters...

I miss you. I miss you too much.