I have less than I had thought
or wanted this season to give
you, this handful of appearance
of bloom, suspended in transparent
artifice. A piece seems missing,
imagined or misplaced, leaving me
nothing more glorious to offer
than this modest enlargement
of the circumscribed chaos
that flowers on the wall between
our rooms. In the clunky shape
of a heart, two flowers lean
towards each other cautiously
or away, their depths murky
save when the right light
glows through at yet another
angle. One glints among its petals,
the other among its leaves; is this
yet another omen? How the raw
self reads the ricochets
of literal reality, the stressed
curvatures, flaws, and abrasions
of these fragments of clarity!
How I ponder this ritual, dogged,
perfunctory, deep, of arbitrary
attachment and expression. Let
there be a form, a substance, let
it develop as it will. Is it to sanctify,
to routinize, or to evade what's
between us that I seek such
trinkets, what do they say
of me to you, when everything
may be read from anything,
and anything from everything?
It is the predictible parsimony
of my recognition and honor,
no substitute for insight
or effort to grasp what would
leave you feeling known
this time. It is one hundred times
a year I think to look for
something for you, or dodge
the task of devotion, it is
so meager in sum that I cry
feeling how grateful you are
for my grudging pittances, this
continuation, how deprived
I am in my constriction. Yet still
it is a thread of mystery
in the world between us,
illumined even by this light
of pain embraced in love.

for Karen
Jan 98

Return to: Top | Lucid | Poems | Home