Light opens this way--or some other way
because you are, most likely, not me--
you are sitting on an Amtrak in the middle of winter,
just sitting there, the train moving, of course, and you look
out over the broad postcard expanse of the Connecticut coast
(this really isn’t you if you live on the west coast or
don’t like to play with parentheses in your poetry)
but it’s there, that ache in your stomach because
you are not there; consequently, (adverbs, too)
think of the best way to run back to happiness,
to get into Taiwan on an early a.m. EVA flight where
all the attendants know you now, and you can say
the desserts in Chinese with correct tones…but the ache
is deeper. You want to walk in the night markets,
be in love for the final full and rest of your life last time,
eat three portions of stinky tofu deep inside the neighborhood
you know where everybody knows you, twenty friends
around a table that would only have held you two diets
ago, and the night is long and deep like the back of an
infinite mouth, and this is its song, here or on a street in Kunming,
holding her hand because she sees you and it’s alright
now, and it’s alright in all heaven’s palaces because
this is not a dream, not a wish for something that was never
alive, nor a memory from a life before this life where all lives
are kept in central storage. This is the joy you found
in a mirror when your eyes struck love, your fingers with hers
on a wet leaf a little at a time because this is full and
deep and final and ultimate and rest of your life where
parentheses are a way of life, plus you promised her
you would only be gone for the time it takes this one song
to breathe (with all the becauses), and it ain’t the blues.

* Originally appeared in 'Deep Travel' ( Ninebark Press)



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