Monthly Archives: June 2011

so there!

expendable
and with the blurring quality of a spanish sunset
i ought to stop dreaming of the miracle
they [nora knows] don’t happen ever

no fool but i expects
a man to build a roof over the pedestal
everyone knows statues have no eyes to worry about rain

sleep like trauma washing over me washing dishes
as if salt could wash away a man-made stain

what call you this
a fading jaded tan line of black bags under the eyes
what am i now
a landing strip stripped bare so there!

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86. i think she knew

through my paperround last year i met a wonderful man. he used to walk his dog as i’d deliver papers and we started talking around the time i started writing this blog. i think he’s 82: he must have mentioned it a while back. and i’m afraid there’s nothing literary about him: his existence is one of uncouth coutesy.

i quit the paperround a while back now but i still see him every sunday. nine o’clock in the morning, like church. he’s my little christian connection: even S is nowhere near taking his place. he gave me a bible with a picture of him in his youth stuck at the back, so that i remember him. secretly, i think, he believes that it will help me find him in heaven: he believes i will go there after all. 

to my friends, this man is “the old man”. to me, he is much more than that. it may be true that i meet him every sunday partly because i feel like it’s my obligation, but also because somewhere beneath my skin there’s a tendon that connects me to him.

his wife died last night. or the night before that. and there’s no more words because i’m hurting for him. because how can one even begin to describe his pain?

i had made them a card only this march: they celebrated their 60th wedding annivesary.

sometimes he told me he wondered if she ever loved him but i know that was only because he loved her more than anything else. ever.
and it’s a little late for him to tell her, but i hope she knew. i think she knew.

the world off your shirt

i won’t wait on you,
but not because i don’t want to:
maybe i would have done on any other day—

that’s not to say that i don’t hate
standing at the train station waving at a departing train.
it’s not me, you understand?
in me there’s always an impulse to chase it.
just water, baby, to chase it. 

just water, a silent drizzle of impending rain:
it’ll wash the world off your shirt—
and i will smell crisp cotton again.

this field

you can have the whole of me in this field:
i pressed my soul into its loins
and beads of sweat still glisten
on the body learning to tango
in the outpour of rain.

i will surrender only here
so take care not to move even a strand of hair
from beneath the tree where i will lay through my whole life,
as if dying prematurely,
for this is home and i forbid you.

a day will come when spring will open me enough
for sun to shine
into the roots of the old cambridge tree
and open up
the rest of me.

—————————————————————-

i’ve been writing this poem for a while now and it feels forever unfinished. maybe that’s just me, always a word out, a syllable in. and then i give up and start something else. at the end of the day, however, i always come back to this. and the oldest tree in cambridge.

sparkling

like a child
falling into a towering house of flimsy cards
i trip
into the rhythm of you.
each step:
a cautious forward stumble
into unknown, into benign,
the magic of your foreign eyes
sparkling.