you may not have noticed,
but there is an iron gridwork in the trees.
pears hang from silver wires.
the moon does not.
it is a blue parrot on a hoop,
dancing a metallic spin.
the sky is the bruised wall of an abandoned apartment.
at night the light shines through the holes.
and once, in the autumn...
(it is always in the autumn, these stories.
at night the Paris gutters collect mounds of rejected lovers,
and every one thinks he can write poetry.)
...and yes it is the autumn now,
and in the horizon, I see
my sad body, stretched across that envelope,
the sun's door, I see.
a shiny coin is extracted for the day,
deposited for the night,
a cheap carney machine show,
an angry mindless turning,
day and night different pictures on the same wheel,
winding through a pinioned slot...
(and there is always such a whining and wailing
over meaning and the world and how terrible all of it is,
how terrible all of us are, especially her.
there is always a her, a you.)
...but it was autumn, my favorite season,
and I would have been all right,
but that I felt the rains leave me.
I mean, I felt the leaves rain on me,
their old women's fingers,
the scratching clutch of dying sloughed-off tree children.
the leaves had weak little hands,
but they made me shiver.
they made me think of you...
yes, you. there is no new way to say it.
I will not say it.
but I kissed the moon.
it was so pale, then,
a long slender beak,
with my lips pressed against the silver frame.
but since, they've ground it up to make the snow.
(I made a mistake.
there was never any autumn in these stories.
it was always spring, and
there were always birds.
winter is a new coat.
slick, I put it on.
snow is made of feathers,
feathers of moon.
the moon is a pale parrot's beak,
in a hoop,
over a steel horizon.
a slow, slow machine,
(and what a terrible machine God made in me,
who can only turn over again and again,
these same words.)
10/10/97, 2/18/98, 2/20/98