Other Times Than August
I dreamt last night of Jack but I am going to try and not think about it. In my dream, he was sweet the way that children are, or good people when they are in love. This my unlettered guess.
I know that it doesn't matter much
in the scheme of the long unwind
a brief stone
in the scenery of a
land vast and varied
There were two wasps' nests in my window. I dislodged the double pane and scraped their paper comb free. I think perhaps they did not sting me because I am a woman. Perhaps they did not sting me because we never really wanted to live together. Our cohabitation was an accident. An incident. We were stunned by our erroneous lodgings.
I always thought that love was made of coral but it is
just so much
In the photograph I am a child and I am peering over a lap harp. I wear my plaid cap backward.
In the night I would fall asleep not alone to the still pause
of the balalaika
even years on I remember sharply
Yuri Zhivago's poems were written in fact by Pasternak, and so was Yuri Zhivago. I have seen them in Russian at the cabin. They look the way that an akashic page might look, the way a page looks in a dream. They look the way that my legs feel when I try to run, in a dream. To run from a silver bullet.
It stands to my shrug of reason that Yuri was a poet, because his life was sad, and he loved a great deal. Unluckily.
She kept her toothbrush in a little bag and the little bag beneath the sink as if she thought she might not stay another night. Maybe she thought she might not stay another night. She stayed several nights, all in a row like mindless ducklings. She was warm, a sugar sack resting on my sheets. She put nearly every article of clothing on before her underwear. Sometimes, she did not wear underwear. We squatted in construction yards to pee. We sank into my bathtub and I learned about being in love with a woman that lives in the body of a woman. Her body was just like a woman's, and it was. She was a woman. Her eyes made me cry. She left me naked, the day she left for the first time,
but not in a mean way. Maybe,
it was so mean
Jack says that Roanoke is a town in Virginia and I say that it is an island in North Carolina but neither of us are wrong. He asked me what happened to the colonists and I said nothing good. They were slaves in the copper mines. Had babies but probably did not fall in love. I did not say that they were most likely raped because I did not want to see his face fall from its perch
high on the branched, golden light
of the afternoon.
There are other times than August for sad facts and possibilities.
I don't want to hate everyone that I love. I wonder if it is an inevitability, the accompanying ache of survival, the nest made mostly of wood pulp
that houses our future hopes and identical yearnings.
I very frequently have a feeling when I see the open ocean
particularly on days when it is gray, and green
I very frequently have a feeling
that I am being pulled toward the ocean
by my heart
There is a part of me, useless but distinct, that is heartbroken. I have found no painting which does such a feeling justice. There is no Vermeer for a young woman's real sorrow. There is only the
of the balalaika.
Even years on I remember sharply that balalaika.
I will tell Jack about it, maybe, say,
a balalaika is the prize that we are given for our heartbreaks. It is a long day in August and a sad fact. A paper nest for some bumbling innocent. It is thunder caressing and breaking open a night rain