Reading love letters addressed to me.
The Medicinal Cotton Clouds Come Down to Cover Them
Mary Jo Bang
To smother their smallness
in felt. Unsatisfied folds, filmic
emotion — remote, pale and impalpable.
Each with their own secret
inflection of want.
There was no debate on this but merely a mood
shift when certain words were mentioned.
Inane nexus of speech, never quite capturing
the what invoked.
She slid her panties down over her hips.
The broidered hue of illusion,
idea drunk in the delicate gloom.
The picture of a hand becoming
a hand. Whose? Yes. Desire reworked stepwise,
a would weep. A was told and lying very still.
Was allowing just so to happen
to her. Neck nape a curve becoming
infinite abyss extended to wish, wish, wish,
and righty-o, a stunning result. Isn’t that nice?
Rosey-o, rosey-o. She woke, took one look:
Oh, it’s you. Yes. I thought I dreamed you.
Siren girls sang somewhere. Nice, she said. Nice.
I am supposed to be working. But here I am reading poems at one in the morning, listening to Edith Piaf’s La Foule on repeat. Tonight my heart is as big as the Olympia, and a little sparrow is singing about my life.
The Wake Was a Line and We Watched
Mary Jo Bang
While we stood in the window and wept.
Well, not wept but sniveled
A little and wiped our eyes
On a coat sleeve. What
Were we thinking, I wonder now.
It was fall.
It was clear. A boat sat
Throwing a reflection of itself
Onto a body of water.
It sits and sits. As the ornament is
A monument so is the bird in the sky
One with the eyes
That were taking it all in.
An argument for a theory
Of all-in-oneness. All as all. Imagine
The “I” as a camera turned on
To a mirror.
Where the face in the mirror
Isn’t that of the one looking in
But of Jacqueline Onassis
Or someone else famous
A full fifteen minutes.
It’s in the nature of looking
At the future while married to the moment.
It’s Disney’s “Mickey
And The Broken Mirror Mishap”
All over again.
The jagged glass reforming
Into a narrative where
The core event keeps clicking into place
As a great, a terrible, shattering.
This thought leads straight
To the darkest thought: I miss home.
Like a child misses home, or
A line drawing of a Quebec Marmot.
That’s what happens.
Meanwhile, the madness.
The brain-gray concourse.
The utter factuality of the few true things.