Paper Weight

Paper WeightPICNIC

This could be fabric of a life.
What else would it be, it is the fabric.

The red, I know it is your blood
the gold what your heart hoped for
the blue can never be deep enough
and the green is in shadow.

Let’s pretend we’re having a picnic

A hot air balloon like a giant chrysanthemum
exploding from its brown bed, hovering
over indefinite articles, birthday gifts
wrapping, pieces to be lifted but not taken away.

*

Once, we were younger
we lay by each other
by the sea looking up
at a pale sky.
Once, we were small
we knelt by a stream
and all it said
was summer.

Where did we think we were going
into the folds of what
glamourous patched hobo fabric
traded by what dead relative?
A German silk merchant maybe
lost in the arms of a Japanese woman
between the wars.

Our parents were immigrants.
Get your own map.
Swallow the old one.

We were having a picnic
and talking of kittens
let’s pretend

a streak of tigers
gold, red, black
disappearing into the mangrove swamp
with us in their mouths.
Pg. 6-8

 

GREEN ENVELOPE

Empty spring. To send
through the air seeds.
The quietest sounds.
We don’t know what’s been planted.
Wind,
the arms of a mother
folding us in, whipping us back
turning us over. This invitation.
Open it. Leave it be.

*

The river is interrupted by the road and stones
like those that once warmed the soles of our feet.
Fragments of the children we were catch our attention
as light on water, blinding or barely.

*

I dream he falls into the dark water
moving irrevocably toward the dam’s precipice.
My son.

In the morning I notice the strawberries are ripe
and one iris opened.

And then, rain.
For days.

*

My child,
I’m sorry you are having such a bad day. (you’d like to send it back) You
know, with us, it is like with the rain. Falling is not the whole story.

Once, when you were very young you tried to build something difficult that
did not go right. You stayed alone in your room a long while.
When I knocked, you opened and lifted a corner of your quilt of blues and
said, Mama. I never noticed how many colors
it has. Yes it has.
Pg. 12