I have no record
left of him
but the little card
announcing “Best in Show,” the remnants
cast off from his armor –
mocked out in foam and glue,
rust down from rivets
brushed like the lines
in a porcelain iris –
and the second bear I bought
to craft one of my own,
still unarmored, tagged and settling
on the sewing room shelf.
Plain plush polar guards
half-made Starbuck BDUs,
cigar-box guitar with its neck never done,
Mod Podge and mesh
cracking in a frame, their failed
screen transferring only five
bird-white stream onto cornflower cotton.
My intentions snowflake-drifted,
collected until the chasms’ crusts
crumbled with their weight.
Posts Tagged ‘books’
I have no record
In a life divided like the strike,
split of maul through log
into mine, yours,
we’re jealous with anything ours –
with the Christmas tree and its ornaments
made and bought for our first together,
filled out by old trinketry still “mine,”
swept in the jingle-bell skirt from my first one alone –
and a blue volume signed to the both of us,
not two hundred pages but six months to read,
ferried nine hundred miles for weekend installments,
chapters sequestered from day work,
from far away, from the tears
by the doorway for passengers only,
pages hoarded like firefly moments
caught in a jar on the mantle, lid
punched through and banded, little lights
dancing but fading by morning.
Our book was signed in the summer,
but the New Year has turned
once we reach the last chapters
on a morning that ends nearly three weeks together
as not far away its author relishes
two extra nights in a near-empty house
that brace one end of a stretch of apart-from-her.
My eyes brine at the bottom of page 160,
voice cracks like creak of a stuck basement door,
and you ask me whether I want you to finish.
You carry us all the way through,
even the thank-yous we don’t have to read,
as I wish for the comfort of mothers,
wait for the ocean to cast us both home.
First: It took me more than one –
While wayfarers rendered words
into a storm of story at the World’s End
I waned, percolating ache through hips,
wrists, and the black ballast of eyelids
settling under imminent sleep.
To bed, to bed, two books
brought in and stacked under the lamp
to be opened again after only a turn
of posture and the light. I know what waits
when I wake, I can follow the thread
of end back to the beginning, past the melting
chocolate people, before the backward
look that shuts the door
between the dreamer and the moon,
and still I do, savoring the vexilla of
a sister’s enfolding wings,
the cerements’ settling weight.
The pitch’s last defense
wafts like a wallflower, scarlet and gold
lobe-wings waving, a woody,
sturdy sail before the tall trio of hoops.
Apart from surf, from soil,
from skirmishes and scraps,
he sweeps the bounds, the brink,
in a lonesome wait of a six-month seek.
Our book is the only book
on the shelf by the TV,
capping the tower of DVDs
like a blue parapet
enswathed in a descending mist.
Inscribed to both of us, our book waits,
gold-engraved ticket anchoring our page –
the end of chapter two, a bite big
enough to savor, a scrap
with enough heft that it won’t fray
once the needle’s in.
But it’s still uncertain as new soap
smelled only through its box and wrap
in an aisle deflating with perfumes,
the promise of a fragrance that may suit,
but we won’t know until we’re home to see.
Inkwells, blots, drafts
in the fire,
impulse to vault the split
rail like a boy at the first
suggestion of the question ahead,
at the enveloping wait for an answer.
Refusals bubble like leavening,
like a simmering stock, like a spring,
like the resilience of a still
pond under rain
as its silt lifts, drifts,
rests and roots.
The books will keep.
The bread will rise.
A century gone
out and back,
regular as breathing –
like clockwork ticking
out our dreams, while
we await the wakening
that follows fallen villain,
scythe through brambles.
Packed in with me
are years disguised
as months and maybes.
Memories. A life deferred
on an off chance and
a persistent hope.
Thirty or ninety or never,
we levee against
both time and distance,
the stretch of decades,
the swell of moments,
the patience at the prow.
For now I’ll build an us
for both of us,
enough of us to keep
the navigation true,
my brief view the switch
between the blank of space,
the promise of blue.