I take pleasure in seeing how cities disappear,
how streets, parks, names get deleted, how
my denial washes even the holiest gardens away.
I mock the mountains: Can you see?
What tiny mounds you all are, if I want you to be so.
You say this city is a river. I say it’s a sea. You say no,
A river for its constancy, those slick coats
In a row and the daily shoop of dreams
Dipping into manholes. At least a river
Has direction, you say.
The failed dishonesty you call your lust
lives in the hollow carved out by your guilt.
Edges bleed where other edges meet them.
This battlefield is not without its charms,
till memory insists and meaning forms.
She told me of the cousin who caught it, serotonin depletion after 4 months still ill. Solitary hours, reading, do tai chi, strong coffee and the rabbit who died under our car, of a rabbit illness we think.
A man waves his AR-15, a woman her tiny pistol, at non-violent demonstrators in St. Louis. They must only eat cake in that palace of theirs; inside, there’s a wooden hiding place from the Reign of Terror.
Having lived for others, my mother said,
she’d planned her life in thirds: first for family,
second for world, third for self. But third
had been drained by caring for her mother
as well as for my father in retirement.
She’d run out of time. Design flaws.
I no longer hear that silvery soprano tone protecting me.
The woods, deep darkly, overcome a sheer blue sky, the color of your eyesight.
How can this impeccable quiet answer me?
A whole pure run of notes shows I have practiced imprecisely.
Endless deficiencies exposed, features that exemplify America: gruff,
grub-hungry, godforsaken, hateful and hated. In fits of childish
impertinence, not great, but intransient and irrelevant as the Raj,
knick-knack of another know-it-all empire totally out of control.