Monday, March 3, 2014

You got married

It seemed obvious once I said it,
yet, I couldn’t picture it clearly at all,
the wedding, your bride . . . 

Waiting at the checkout,
those in front of me all seemed to have
complicated transactions—
vouchers, exemptions.
They looked rather well-fed and well-to-do.
Then all the cashiers walked out.
I was irate.
What was this country coming to?
What happened to good service?
Or any service at all?
I wanted to yell at somebody.
No one was listening. 
The President had resigned.
Didn’t I know?
Was the First Lady a lesbian?
Someone asked.

And so, some sort of coup
happened while I was getting groceries.
The spring sun was warm 
and everyone poured into the streets.
Water slowly trickled, melting off.
I felt it,
Cool on the yellow walls
Vibrant on the pavement.
I brushed my hand against the stucco
and tried to make sense of it,
to feel what was real,
if anything,
but it was all so distant,
any danger/chaos/bloodshed,
a fog above a thawing pond.
I could see two or three dogs
rambling down the street,
fighting amiably.

I sat on the curb
and you settled next to me
as I slowly caressed the rue
that was growing up,
pale and new,
through the cracks,
and the detritus—
Yellow bits
of discarded sponges.
and crumpled plastic cups.

You started to speak
And I pretended to understand:
Destiny, dynasty,
It all meant nothing to me.

You choked on “rococo”
And your voice went up
Like a bird
To a high branch,
And I saw
The whitened bones of a steer
Resting there,
Gently draped
As if asleep.

And you, too,
Washed up by some long ago flood,
And now here beside me,
Black and white
In your lace trimmed
hounds tooth.
Your hands
Anchored so easily
Between my legs.
As we watched
The people and
The dogs,
The smoke rising in the distance,
And the thinning sun,

You knelt closer
And I felt
Some cool murmur,
the smooth
dark lining
Of your heart,
and the coming night.

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