Friday, November 04, 2005



No one is ever taking anything with him

to that deserted island which allows

you to check just one thing,

like some cheap airline whose jets fall

apart on the runway. One book

or one album or one wife—

we’re always choosing but never going

and it bothers me. How quiet

the place must be, and clean and possessed

by an expectant air: soon, soon,

they’ll come, packing light

but preciously and they’ll have to stay,

sure, but they’ve brought

that which they could not bear to be

absent. Such a place

would hum, I think, with longing to be

lived in. Such a place

does not exist and if you listen

the world is louder

for it. In the air that is always too close

with alarms, with sirens,

with the sad shamble

of a train, it is hard to hear trees speaking

the language we just made

up. Or I did, thinking

of you. You will lament your appearance

in these words, just

as I regret my own

in the police blotter

someday for stealing armfuls of oranges,

for running away with

the sun. Maybe,

I’m wrong: I could live with that much infamy,

I could speak to the morning

and the mirror

in the strange tongue of the pine trees.

If I had never known you,

my choosing would be

easy, because in all the world to which I belong

something would remain

that mattered enough

to bring. But here I am planting that flower that grew in hell.


Ali Davis said...

Okay, you need to stop writing so many damn poems.

Paul said...

I'm outta control....:)

Arif said...

a brilliant poem! thank you.

Paul said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This is gorgeous. Man.
Sad, true, pretty you.


AnnMarie Eldon said...


AnnMarie Eldon said...

no, really beautiful

Paul said...

Thank you, Annmarie.