Talk About Compassion

i have to believe that the world is so pretty for you
to take a picture; to light a candle and mourn
for the amber light pulsing through your eyes,
under the Christmas lights and over the haze
above the Themes—death and moisture are so humid
when they cross the air, when they leave the skin upon
God's knees cracked. i wonder when the time will come
when you know nothing of time—only of inspection,
retrospection, intellectual makings and only things made
which matter so very little. the silver chair in which
you sit sings like a portrait does with thousands of words,
millions of atoms compressed into a poem that only we
—the keepers of metapoetics—can translate from slim volumes.
the dead lay their bodies down; the living leap up like feathers
caught in updrafts and thermals from the summer in the city:
it was our imagination that drove this home; that framed
this photograph and made it sing with greasy guitar strings
and two cracked voices—tenor and alto, boy and girl,
dead and alive. i carried you in my temporal womb
and waited for you to grow up, out, into.
i will not pluck from overwritten gardens; i will not sob
for overunrequited love; i will not rupture with wine and salt
to dry your lips, then use them to polish these poems.
i vow that someday your hands will grace my neck,
your hands will lie still yet moving on my chest and i
will keep my hands tied up with honor and vigor. what comes
from crisis leaks through adverbial relative clauses—it says
"goodnight" to long adjectives and irregular verbs. it all rolls down
grassy hills, past empty beer bottles through the stones
where our feet made little crunching noises. why o why
do i say such lovely things to you?: the one who let me sleep
without any such answer or dilemma? i make Athenian drama
when i lie awake mulling your words over like the smell of brandy
in the glass i swirl around in my crinkled hand. kings, queens,
jesters, and subjects lay down their arms, pick up their ears
to listen to the court's tantrums through decadent tongue lashes:
hear the one whose tired eyes seek answers; seek aliveness;
seek parallelism when reading anything but Dickens: Mr. E is
a mystery—Mr. C is not what i call Mr. Me. are you there God?
it's me: the fool who sailed over the English Channel on
a cafeteria tray. will she ever kiss the boy and breathe snowflakes?
will she ever mind the poems prancing through the airwaves?
will she mind when my eyes cross the street? not i nor anyone else
knows. what i know is that i must make the world so pretty
so that you can take a picture and i can write a poem while walking away.

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