Sunday, May 23, 2010

Valence 3


you study the index find grief sitting alongside greed
how dictionaries can turn destiny on a few letters
consider the difference between a water sprinkler
its afternoon sun of rainbows and laughter running
and a gas sprinkler its grey days of mud rag and bone
what a difference our meanings make of the world

you pick foxglove from the garden hoping for cure
there in the corner among the electric ferns is an old nude
green with moss her eyes crossed her forearms
broken at the wrist like a museum Venus her breath salty
you long for the nostalgia of flames foggy windowpanes
streets that cobble between old stone buildings

leaping shadows of gaslight in real-world film noir
galoshes keeping out the damp as you stroll the stream’s
bank your lungs filled with the effigy of cold air
your destination was the Sistine Chapel but Rome on a
Monday has no secrets to give up to naïve backpackers
with budget time and so you wait twenty years

to see that composition now engraved in your dreams
arriving in Cairo might never have happened had you
travelled a day later not the shock of machineguns in the street
but in the hijacked plane sour breath a blurred video death
you talk the half dead tree fern back to life gentle it out
when the time comes to write the word grief yet again

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