For You

The light has turned.
Autumn embarks on it’s weighty, bountiful life.
The sky begins to settle on us with a
burst of bright/dark blue, and too,
our longings gather themselves in the fruiting
hedgerows with the assembling flocks,
as abandonment comes early this year.

A tangle of weed cover in the rear garden grows
so dense that nothing penetrates to the soil,
and the ground crickets sing even in the afternoon.
I will think of the coming cold and
why it is wrong to love you outside the category
of most human love. I look on, toward the ground,
at the vines almost sapped, green to yellow, soon to bone,
and shun the sight of dying off.

Winter is the time we hear of departures.
An architect will walk to the ocean and surrender,
a seamstress will open herself one last time
not to God or a lover, but to the business of finishing it.
A painter will recognize with a certain calm,
his last day, in the bathroom mirror.
I have an odd affection for these sad little
private moments when all our frailties collide.
We set ourselves, without mercy, on the same tree
as the hung Judas. And who cut him down, I wonder.

I have been intimate with these moments
and come from a family that has, on occasion, seen them through.
I’ve seen the spilled flesh of the beloved
once torn by gunfire,
so pink and innocent, swaddled in the blood and quilting
of her bed, and starkly too, on the charred floor
of the burnt out house. I sank and cringed then.
Now, I think I’d gather her up, hold the last of her in my hands
and look at just of what our mortal coil is composed.
And who then, took her body away, I wonder.

I am left with a love I wish were more abiding,
larger somehow
So many to love and I remain so helpless
Still, this is how I see myself
loving you, and my children
and the architect, and the seamstress
and the painter
and the fisher I haven’t met yet
This is how I see any of you, who fall into my arms
in the back of the cab, or don’t, on Bleeker Street
light and color shouting past, or not
A long body curled up on the seat
a head in my lap
“I want to stay here forever,” you say
one hand covering your face.
I know, I say – I know.

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PBSweeney

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