like a robber making a break for the shelter
of rocks wedged into the side of the yellow hill,
just so I cast about for an appearance,
a settlement, the ghost of a stain on an old shirt I put on,
to go downstairs early, into first light.
I take a long time at breakfast,
then make a few calls, tell stories on the phone
of a brother who died though I have no brother
who died; I make up a sad involved tale about my sister,
and the tale is so heartbreaking,
so terrible in its aggrievement and signification
of ruptured morale, that my phone friend and I
begin to cry, we weep like children. My friend lives
in Hawaii, halfway up the slope of a volcano
ringed with grass and low trees whose fat leaves
fill with the trades. The wind blows all day long, he tells me,
and it drives him crazy. From one gorgeous venue to another
he’s traveled, leaving smeared bits of himself behind.
Now, beyond Hawaii, there’s—what? He can’t think of
Somewhere along the line, he says, we have to get honest.
We have to lie in bed instead of getting up;
we have to let what wants us come in.
We’ve both heard this before, this accurate philosophizing
that continues to conceal. We could both
talk forever like this, but now the wind is walking the long
it’s punching the quince bushes, pounding the yellow flowers
by the shed. Sometimes you know you’re not getting
Sometimes you take a cab to the park and walk around
as if you own the place. You decide there’s a mistake here,
some investment that slipped out of line,
a bright knowledge like the windows in a tall building
the day turns so blue it looks as if blue
goes all the way through to the other side.
You think of people walking around in a color that deep
and rich, and then you go over to the fountain and take a
out on the end of your rope, sniffing around,
wondering if you really had any idea
love would take what it did out of you
and keep it so long.