Our friend Jeffrey has traveled to many cities: Cucamonga. Bentonville. Portsmouth. Providence. In each city he has gotten on his knees. He has prayed to the local god or goddess. In Newark he spoke to Sarah Vaughn in a cocktail lounge and to Allen Ginsberg floating high above the Jewish cemetery next to the traffic jam. Getting the okay from Allen and Sarah, he renamed the airport so we can fly into Allen Ginsberg. Then he flew into Louis Armstrong and learned how to second line.
How she decants herself, abandoning the priests’ pressing: the whirl of soft yellow petals opening leaves me breathless, form refusing limit. I clip the spent blossoms with shears, collecting their orange hips in an enameled bowl. All the stories are old, syllabaries of lauds told.
Channel Five flashes footage of my house
The newscaster’s tone not quite as condemning
as the word NIMBYs he keeps repeating
Referring to us who object to the bill
that wrote a half-way house for recovering drug addicts
May you know your neighbors’ names. May those names cause
more pleasure than frustration. May they applaud
the life you choose to build—your triumphs and flaws—
your loyalty and trysts—your science and your gods.