In a library
books have been put up like summer fruit
and vegetables. Stored for us, harvests all tidy
row after row, all in a row, but inside,
not tidy at all. Flavors you love,
flavors you never knew before, that you could never
imagine. Some will change
your constitution, make you do things
you were sure you couldn’t. You’re different now. Whether
you’re small or tall, whatever you look like, you expect
stairways, open places. Who would shut that off,
tell us it’s money we have to think about, important things
like more police. Our streets are dangerous! We can have
libraries later. Well,
who needs food anyway?
Friend, I can barely see you on the Zoom,
lean close, so I can see your face.
Now you show up in a gallery--they call it that--
rows of tiny pictures of tiny people.
Oh, it's communal, I tell myself,
really, it is! There's an untidy head
I know so well; there's a sleek head
I envy; there's The Stare
boring into me. And one bored, asleep;
he can't kid himself and think this is connection.
Later I'll think we talked, you talked to me
then remember no, it was your shadow, reflection,
mock-up. Life second-hand.
I pick up my cat. She's real.
How plushy and warm she is, my black velvet girl.
Outside In the backyard, delphiniums stand taller than I.
Purple, dark blue, blue, blue, a high blue stairway. Up!
Maybe things will get better. There'll be wine, coffee, duck a l'orange, pizza
shared; faces close--you could touch them across the table---