Please don’t think about this, love
(for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)
You’re bone-thin. Come drink a glass of
wine with me to fatten up your bones. The
monsters sitting around this kitchen table
are sinful creatures. They remember their
table manners but nothing else. Many things
were left unsaid by my mother after I left
home. She did not say that she would miss
me. That she would always love me. The
leaves are singing holy. The spring in my
step is holy. I’m stepping over stones. Monsters
at my back. Blood in my veins, a seawall
that makes up my chest, (blood) rays of
light in my eyes, and teachings in my hands.
My strange feet accused of not always taking
me where I want to go. Now, sister, you’re
like a splinter in driftwood in my finger.
I have to get you out. Out! Even ripened
thunder is a teacher. The virgins are like
angels here. I have to let go of your grip,
but I can’t. You perfect me. Instruct me. I
pray fiercely that there’ll be enough room
for you in this world one day. That this hurt
in my wrists will go away. Glory is small
when humane winners take it all. You’re
in everything that I see, sister. You’re the vine,
I’m the branch. You’re your own love story.
Here the light of day scares me because there’s
so little of it. Just a few grains scattered here
and there. Waking up alone doesn’t scare me
Anymore though. I’ve done it now for most of
my life. Rilke, Updike are my warriors of support
now, and I tremble at the thought of how chameleon-
like we are. Water, the material, earth, they all
have their own essence. And their own psychology,
and education. Even lovers understand this.
The moonlight shifting like the tides. Rivers.
I have dahlias in my hands. Accept them, then
you will accept me. I don’t think it much to ask.