When you died before me,
I did not tear apart our garden.
The gardenias bloomed desperate—
one white egg, one bride’s
soft dress in a limo left—
into some black disease
until they were full
of worms and their own sleep.
I watched the garden thirst and rot from
the sweating window all summer
and a hedge took it over
in the years later. I felt myself forgetting
everything we ever planted;
my mind and yard both containing more
and more wilderness.
There is such quiet in losing memory,
such quiet in the fear I have in this life alone.
I write down what I cannot forget:
what it was to have your breath
on my back begging water
in the night. The kiss I’d feed you first.
Blue Postcard—NYC Oct. 2017
To: Maggie Nelson
In the city
wrote. Near the
sky below someone’s
a bunting, a
of your small
well: flicking blue joy
the backs of birds.
I saw it and remembered
how you came,
on the roof shaking you
saw from Chelsea.
I took its photograph.
It blurred gray with the world
I thought this really
was your happiness: here
blue then not
For B, On the Anniversary that Begs Wood
Beautiful the way the sun turned down the birches at twilight and
running by them, I fell into that same dark they disappeared into, as if it were blue
youth, my own, the years stumbling with the sound of my name and the birds pulling me
across the country from the shadow to what is myself, like they pull me
now, so what I am is what I am; nothing, ever, less. What changes is in the
backyard, the barbeque grill left to rot and rainwater, left to
rust, growing its own iron garden (these gifts we believe in: nails in soil,
your dreams and my dreams talking). We’ve come to love
all our made mistakes because we will make them again but
next, we will know what it is they are worth, which is how we can know each other.
Between 30 Years and the Knife
It was this hour I was born
with 30 years between now and the knife
in the wall of my mother’s
abdomen; the cut I was brought through bravely
reluctant, some clinging thing,
purple and crying. 30 years to the hour and my husband, I am inside
him. He inhales amyl nitrate.
All of him is a simultaneous wave of relax, of rush. The blood
flows to his
crown. He reddens, reddens, pushes
toward purple. He cannot say
how everything he sees is that dark
shade of new life, that color
only seen with closed eyes. For a moment, he can’t say a word.