Niobe had just lost her son.
To help herself, she read a poem
to those assembled in the funeral home
It’s so cold on this January morning
the condensation in the corner of each window
has frozen to the glass, cannot be wiped away.
How long then short the days grow across the Earth.
I called out to my grief and drew it toward me.
I held my grief and gently rocked it.
Shh, I said. There, there. There, there.
And without beauty, Bakunin will go on making his forlorn & unreliable little bombs in the cold, & Oswald will adjust
The lenses on the scope of his rifle, the one
Friend he has carried with him all the way out of his childhood,
The silent wood of its stock as musical to him in its grain as any violin.
There are moments so flooded with tenderness
every wall around our heart collapses
from the beauty of it
a stone’s throw from lots
where talented Sharon Tate expired and Jim Morrison
fluttered psychedelic, fiery birds rising from the boulevard
of broken wings
It’s Christmas, the year before the accident, when the earth
still seemed fixed. My husband and children are hanging
lights on the big pine tree
he taught me
the geometry of carpentry
of plumbing, told me
clusters of fluttering wings
yellow with black stripes
in and out
of the white and orange lantana
Run ahead again,
I’ll catch up with you later.
Ah, it’s back. It hadn’t hummed in my head for years —
that achingly joyful accordion tango.