Friday, January 2, 2009

By Photograph Only

Leaves fall, ten thousand of them, each your name clutching a blue dwarf star. I have longed all these years like a coward for the world. But you must begin with what you have.

The magnitude of a king's genealogy, preferably in a city where leaves are not swept quickly off the streets. Hours pass on the backs of minutes and so on. Crickets sing continuously despite your efforts to be new.

In Greece, ripe fruit is about to burst, and July continues into seed. The statue of a horse made of dried carnations. Cigarette stubs on the cobblestone, like blind eyes staring obliquely after a fox.

My loves are like butterflies with holidays inside them. I was the only one who saw them. When you stopped laughing, there outside the chocolate shop, they disappeared.

Balconies facing the hot Mediterranean: deprivation and simplicity: and no sleep. Marriages have failed, the kids gone far away. She told me once while stoking flames that her dreams were always of pigeons with broken wings and she had no hands to help them.

How much you are like her, with your untroubled eyes, always amongst loved ones wondering are you safe. Listening to my daughter sing on a rock jetty, my heart fills with greed and fear. What have I done to earn such favor?

While watching you tonight accept praise from those who know you by photograph only, I testified again to the fineness and rootsong of angels. And wake up no better but yes, thinking of you.

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