Saturday, June 30, 2007


On hold, unheld, she receives
the drugstore Muzak*

swoops with it in a vespery underwater
daydream, breathes in, doesn't drown, glides
above ocean canyons, cliffsides
and arpeggiating seaweed fields
through music of a dull green liquid anguish

is my mother here
i am as alone here
in this dream as everywhere
stupid tears in the empty clinic
no not empty the vacuum
cleaner beyond the shut door
roars and roars

This has been a week of birds,
of four baby sparrows
nesting in the attic window well
where the new AC had to go

Doughy, phlegmatic, eunuchoid
the man through his horn rims
could not presume, Madam
to tell her what to do with her birds

Fetch a shoebox, then -- or is that a pot
of boiling water --
for a handful of parturient straw
(oddly warm, quivering little cake)
to park it one floor down on the porch roof

there, where, o will she find them, Mother Bird

with their beaks, rimmed with yellow lips,
with their silver wisps of tongue,
open, expectant, petitioning,
like her own upraised hands at the Sunday altar rail

birds in their shoebox draped for rain
draped for the showering
bread of heaven, for much manna, mama

She took the one
cold with a fly on it
buried it by the peonies

then dreamed of baby aliens
in an orange membrane
like an upside down hot air balloon
hanging in her red haired colleague's ear canal
necessitating the summons
of her dead psychoanalyst

which was a visitation so real
verisimiltude down to the last arm hair
realer than real or at least as real as real
that she woke as if breaking free
from an oedipal sweatshop

to unplug and carry the fan into the hot bedroom
thinking how is this different from
straw by straw the sparrow building her nest

it is not

o heatwave, o high wind
o my o her fledglings
o box overturned and empty as the morning's
mourning dove cooing

o o o where where where

Dizzied by the smell of instant coffee
microwaved at day's end,
in it all the fasts she'd ever broken,
all the friends and all the tables,
as if the smell of coffee were what, dead, she'd most miss --

(how does that work, she asks)

Not quite like how outside
the milkweed and queen anne's lace have opened
without her

* Is there anything Google can't tell us ? The music in question is Liszt's Liebestraum No. 3 in A Flat Major

No comments: