They come in like wrens and go out like finches or maybe
it’s the other way. They come in like tornadoes and exit
like divas. When we tell them about black tulips, the imagination,
Plato, the crazy things that happen there, they take-over,
want a spotlight of crazy, want to pluck the black tulips from our gardens
and arrange them in their sickrooms. Every room they enter
is a sick room and they like it that way, less pressure.
They walk by way of pity, even mercy, they press, sure,
into us like handprints on wet cement in May
and often in July. They peddle their miseries
like flowers and they watch for us, hoping we’ll buy.
When I think about suburbia, I think about streets that are named
after trees and I am reminded of my friend’s late wife
who said “love like a tree not like a bird”
Another one was born soon, they’re everywhere
and when I think to forgive one I recall that the last time
I might have seen Tom Waits and was sold-out.