Under the Trees
There is no longer anything to be said
that might strike you as necessary.
The day is in a pink dress.
All the birds have been caught indoors
and are dealing with frowning women
who bear broomsticks in every direction.
It appears to be a battle but still I maintain
that women do not wage war.
There are three of us today—all mes:
the small, the large, the one perfectly fitted
to my mother’s first idea of myself.
Dust shifts where the light seems gold.
Blue paint from a child’s fingers
inherits the sky.
The Precepts of the Poets
'Others affirm that in the tower there were only nine materials
and that these were clay and water, wool and blood,
wood and lime, pitch, linen, and bitumen....
These represent noun, pronoun, verb, adverb,
participle, conjunction, preposition, interjection.'
on my tongue tastes like the earth
from which they built the Tower of Babel
a language broken
with its terrible invisible warmth
wraps my mind in its household memory
the perfect language
but I knew his pen not him
can I whisper my translation
is the burning whiteness
in this ritual grammar
the letter telling of all falsehoods
took centuries to arrive at its destination
on which I lay out my nouns, pronouns
verbs, adverbs and all their adjectives of love
the roads leading to this place
are inside this place and vernacular
Colon: it wasn’t an order: there are some
whose lives have bookcases and others
for whom the side of the road serves
the same purposes: unenumerated
it doesn’t change this: the tongue
has rained into the hand: the
fingers feed the mouth