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Into My Garden


ISSUE:  Spring 2012

As if new Jersey were Babylon, an Argentine
and an Israeli argue in Aramaic, Styrofoam cups
of instant coffee warm in their hands,

Other boys return to last night’s commentary:
I have come into My garden,
back and forth they sing like an invitation.

What did I learn in school? Whenever
the philosopher lectured on the death of metaphysics,
pollen found an open window, pistil

and stamen crazed with each other.
Yellow, the serpentine walls and columns.
Yellow, the library where a church belonged.

Some nights his best student recited
the lecture like a pledge, but nothing changed
not the pitcher between us, the glass

slick with our fingerprints, the envy I felt.
Boys dressed like men race the stairwell as if to the singing,
as if to hear what My garden means:

seven generations caused god to withdraw,
seven generations drew him back.
All those years of talking—what did I learn?

All arguments end with a shrug.

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