This is not a garden

Under the trestle I pressed my flower to pieces,
trying to remember the last time
             I’d been in a garden.
must have been the stillness, the sill drafts,
             when I woke at the will of the window.
Saw phantom of pink. Blinked dog-rose
             over the skyline once,
             elapsing lavenders
into their usual envelope-color.

             And I told the old year
it could roll softly now to anticlimax:
this is not a garden. I am too caught
             in kinetic life,
             I only ever dreamt in trundles,
             the train’s arch
and daylight’s dead ringers.

The pistils falling over my feet
             believed me—
             it’d been a very long time.
This is not a garden. This is
             only the hum of

dawn’s simulacrum.



Striations of gold dust make
lines of residue in the linens.
Something slides from that
sleeve of memory, O gentle disc
reminding you. Rewinding you.
(Where whom, the empty room.)


Townhouses travel under the
window’s tint. Newness equaling
blankness I’ve yet to learn, whisper
of arrhythmia ever-worming,
worrying you. Burying you.
(The sill’s cold still stays.)


Murmurations mill about
thinning walls. Two sparrows
burrow on the balcony, touching
like a rib-tickle. Like irony,
imbibing you. Inscribing you.
(Not a solve, but a salve.)


An anemic sky retreats. The
doorbell anticipates ringing,
rings rippling as a river. Corners
cling rosy, reddish in a sweater,
sweeping you. Keeping you.
(The familiar grooves run through.)


Skip to the liquor store soft
as secret. Christmas lights
cradle corridors, a little dose,
like dark glitter of wonder,
washing you. Warming you.
(Sublime is mine, mine, in time.)


We were in the room, the room like a torn eggshell
with its slackening film on the edges.
             Through doors,
through the windows really, came heavy spores. We slept
and tried to remember
             what encircled us earlier—it was damselflies—pinning
one another, little nacreous arrows otherwise bouncing
off knees. Everything in gases:
             foggy gradation, ridges and gorges
pouring. Glimpses of a needling, creatures skimming
dark punctuations. A minnow feeding
             teases of chrome in the brackish,
two memories darting in the dry scent. We were listening
for the end, forgetting that it
             never would if we were still inland. Stealthy
bending, and the outside idea continually loosening,
field debris just floating off: the foliate runnels,
             a toenail clipping the water. The troweled texture
materializing whiteish as we fastened supine,
difficult to bind that thought, as it kept
             deepening toward the backwater.


Blame it on the blue ridges of the rain belt, this prefigured
             in the hoard. A dangling s, wishful, but not fruitful.
What do we inflict upon them. Dark bundles of cells, when we verb them—
the berries, you’d guess fruition. But it never comes, no matter—
the thorn-punctured— picking in dusk-bushes. A bucket of juice and
seed husks offered, purple-ringed continuum

blood to some. Expectation. She oathed them. He wanted justice.
Inflicting all of their linkages, the verb in such clusters it too
becomes noun
verbiage. A foliage. Bristling of papery leaves, cross-hatched
when they were there. Picking, becoming.
The -ing of them rings, crushed in.
Once removed what do they become. A de-tach that sounds like a pluck
             and lets the fungus in, invisible. Antagonist. Chemical catalyst.
Or was it already there. Mold—r—ing.
It’d been raining and it was dark. He spoke of conditions

but for her it was whole, they were everywhere, dumb and detached and
dropping. Both of them saw eyes, but seeing what.
Blindness. Never counting. We
mythologize the fresh, which fleets. And looks to burn. Retina-ready,
dark—n—ing, iridescence that too is purple.
Fruit already configured as flesh

but do you have to be dead to rot—clot—etc. Does flesh mean
             you can die. What eats you. What becomes you.
Gray fungus that gluts, he said. Or could you just look away,
fling verbs at the atmosphere,
realizing it is not about the berries it is about the place
where the berries can dwell—
the rain belt, this rain belt. Ripe is a smell. An age. A verb,
             getting there.

             And always in August.