A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Your death interrupts nothing.
Fold the laundry, clean dishes,
program a show to tape on Tivo.
Load the washing machine again
and wonder if there’s a bleach for grief.
Feed the birds and it occurs to me
they’re illiterate. Tonight I too
become fluent in listening.
There’s a Mayan temple you caught with
your lithograph on my brother’s wall and
the mailman disrupts my stare out
the window, knocks and asks me to sign
for something I forget on the porch.
A neighbor installs an antenna.
That’s what survives, you said – beauty is a need
like thirst and sex – that even in the Neolithic,
even in a cave, a man once painted
his own hand and was joined by the hands
of others, you said. I don’t remember anything
you said about God. But once you believed
in a Mexican woman, in a load of impossible
vegetables balanced on her head and you stared
at her and after her and you said, “Did you see her?
Did you see her?”
Copyright 2017 John Samuel Tieman
“After school, 1985, the lounge of the El Presidente Hotel in Polanco, a colonia in Mexico City, the night I was voted Regal Rat by The Empire Club, an honor I still hold dear. I’m the one in the hat. Gordon is on my right.” — jst