should be green to represent an ocean. It should have two stars in the first canton, for us and navigation. They should be of gold thread, placed diagonally, and not solid, but comprised of lines. Our flag should be silky jet. It should have a wound, a red river the sun must ford when flown at half-mast. It should have the first letter of every alphabet ever. When folded into a triangle an embroidered eighth note should rest on top or an odd-pinnate, with an argentine stem, a fiery leaf, a small branch signifying the impossible song. Or maybe honey and blue with a centered white pinion. Our flag should be a veil that makes the night weep when it comes to dance, a birthday present we open upon death, the abyss we sleep under. Our flag should hold failure like light glinting in a headdress of water. It should hold the moon as the severed head of a white animal and we should carry it to hospitals and funerals, to police stations and law offices. It should live, divided, deepening its yellows and reds, flaunting itself in a dead gray afternoon sky. Our flag should be seen at weddings well after we've departed. It should stir in the heat above the tables and music. It should watch our friends join and separate and laugh as they go out under the clouded night for cold air and cigarettes. Our flag should sing when we cannot, praise when we cannot, rejoice when we cannot. Let it be a reminder. Let it be the aperture, the net, the rope of dark stars. Let it be mathematics. Let it be the eloquence of the process shining on the page, a beacon on the edge of a continent. Let its warnings be dismissed. Let it be insignificant and let its insignificance shine.
Everything That Happens Can Be Called Aging
I have more love than ever.
Our kids have kids soon to have kids.
I need them. I need everyone
to come over to the house,
sleep on the floor, on the couches
in the front room. I need noise,
too many people in too small a space,
I need dancing, the spilling of drinks,
the loud pronouncements
over music, the verbal sparring,
the broken dishes, the wealth.
I need it all flying apart.
My friends to slam against me,
to hold me, to say they love me.
I need mornings to ask for favors
and forgiveness. I need to give,
have all my emotions rattled,
my family to be greedy,
to keep coming, to keep asking
and taking. I need no resolution,
just the constant turmoil of living.
Give me the bottom of the river,
all the unadorned, unfinished,
unpraised moments, one good turn
on the luxuriant wheel.