For once I fought back, answering Oh yes, someday when a restless muse asserted This golden age needs treatment on the page. It was the strangest lesson— all that ink to make me think shadows were real, this silence when one true heart so manifestly was. Time passed. Themes amassed; I scoffed at amber, basked in oxygen. Now in this little cabin where no sightings slake my cravings and my pen gets back its need to conjure, on the ingots I have stored, oh pine, opine.
The park admits the wind,
the petals lift and scatter
like versions of myself I was on the verge
of becoming; and ten years on
and ten blocks down I still can’t tell
whether this dispersal resembles
a fist unclenching or waving goodbye.
But the petals scatter faster,
seeking the rose, the cigarette vendor,
and at least I’ve got by pumping heart
some rules of conduct: refuse to choose
between turning pages and turning heads
though the stubborn dine alone. Get over
“getting over”: dark clouds don’t fade
but drift with ever deeper colors.
Give up on rooted happiness
(the stolid trees on fire!) and sweet reprieve
(a poor park but my own) will follow.
There is still a chance the empty gazebo
will draw crowds from the greater world.
And meanwhile, meanwhile’s far from nothing:
the humming moment, the rustle of cherry trees.