Thursday, February 16, 2006



There is not a katydid anywhere near

drawing its strange fathoms

of breath into its odd non-lungs,

book lungs, maybe they’re called

if it is kin to the spider,

prevented from growing much larger

than a dinner plate

by the constraints of air.

Breathe, yourself, I’m saying to the glass

froth of the mirror while

a woman shaves my face

lost, almost, in practiced boredom.

Next month is my birthday

and already I’m rehearsing

the revamping of my history.

I’ve added trees spindling out

into the dark, over water,

budded pink like a girl you can’t quite

remember. Hanging

from the tree by rope

a shredded tire holds rain water,

a sloshing song. Whatever

you do, look back

is carved into the tree’s black bole.

I’ve forgotten love.

It’s no surprise.

What could I say to the woman in the darkness,

except by your leave,

except that song, that poem,

that world hidden

like an arsonist

in plain sight, in the air which is fuel?

What could I say?

Invent for me

some new season

that is not this one,

teach me to love the flower in your throat.


Suzanne said...

Paul, I love this poem. I keep coming back to read it--thanks for this. xo

Paul said...

Thanks, Suzanne....