Monthly Archives: August 2013

Columbus Park, a poem

illustration columbus park

Columbus Park

Layers, on this island the pearly nacre of creation — darkness,
light swirl for my attention. Walled around the park are giant
buildings, shades of gray and brown, windows glinting,
dark mirrors. I traveled a thousand miles to get here,

to find something, the heart of something, heaven,
earth, sore feet, my own heart. I am a dry sponge,
tramping from one street to the next, darting eyes
quick to latch on, transcend movement, freeze-frame

all in memory. The benches call out to me; I can’t refuse,
down low in Manhattan, where Chinese congregate,
playing some fast game. Like mah-johngg, like dominoes,
like poker. And a wino passes out on the bench

next to me — his mouth gapes, his teeth darkened with decay,
his tongue moving as he breathes. I am here on my bench
otherwise alone, trying to remember my divine nature.
The fact I don’t feel full of knowledge is sure evidence

I am. Nobody ever talks about how in his twenty-ninth
year, the Buddha left his wife and child in the middle of the night
without even saying goodbye. Nobody speaks of the tears
they shed next day. Buddha’s sobbing wife

is the mother of all things, and I have never known
her name. And I know without knowing I have two
souls — the one that will die with my body, the other that will
wander the world. Everything here becomes holy;

I take the wino in my arms, feeling his foul breath
grow sweet, becoming perfume of heaven. The world blooms;
I am its soul, dancing upon the knife-blade, bleeding, but not
falling. No, not falling. As I understand, so shall I be delivered.

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Abigail, Being Born, a poem

illustration on abigail being born

Abigail, Being Born

When I first saw you, I did not know
whether you were male or female,
I did not know whether you were plain or beautiful,
I did not know whether you were smart or dumb,
kind or cruel. I saw your eyes, blinking slowly at me,
dark with secrets. You were a mystery to solve,
a puzzle to assemble, a story to hear,
a symphony to explode over me like salt waves,
healing and exhausting. I knew only that I loved you,
wanted to love you, would dedicate the rest of my life
to loving you. The moment after your birth,
I did not know you at all, but I was ready to learn.


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