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Dandelion Fireworks

ISSUE:  Autumn 1987

(for Norman Dubie)


Believing together
is more than a launch of boats,
the dew on dandelions,
the sorrow of worry;

getting there is more than the drive
in a car that blazes forward
in the sunset of oil on the road.


Wherever I go, it is the damnation
of wheels that turns me,
that dynamos kites
to pity. Japanese fish
fly on flagpoles; bronze elk
in the garden by the lake watch over
the poet who drowned in the swimming pool.

His spine became the long kelp string
of the islands.


Diamonds are irregularly shaped,
multiple triangles. The depth of one
is the height of the other.
What we believe is doubled;
what we curse is faceted—the facility
of light. I never believed
in lightposts. Now, I keep secrets
as if they are mine.
Black books on shelves swallow the light.


Coal digs deep into earth.
It shines in canyons. Hear its pain
in the throats of canaries singing in shafts.
Blackness becomes iridescent.


A glowworm blooms like a shining river in beer signs.
What I believe was formed long ago by pressure
and convexity of coal asleep in the vise of centuries.
Nuns watch over my grief; a hunchbacked priest
guards diamonds where they take naps. Beauty
is watching something becoming. Sensing a chill draft
in a black hall interrupted by light, intercepted by eyes,
fireworks on a string in the dark illuminate
ancient dandelions on which fugitives pin their
luck and last hopes—
on windy, ravishing dark.


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