The Art Deco of the West
In every scene I am a young woman
In every scene I am a young girl
Waiting to be helped by the train conductor
The silent geometry of the sun
In every scene I am waiting for you
To be with me in dreams
To hold my beige suitcase, as we wander out the door
On the train to the West
They have very old people
Who do not need my help
But help me
Move my brightly colored cases
Into the waiting room
In the night, every night that there is
I call out for you
Is it Tuesday, Saturday
Months go by
I am no longer a girl
Nor was I when we met
You were a boy
I forget about that
I forget that you still are
I look at the faces of men
And they have more grit than you
Still you are so beautiful to me
Did I ever tell you
Did I ever tell you
The orange sun
Did I ever tell you sun that I and only I love you
Did I ever tell you I lied
I lied
I lied
I said I was here before
I never was here
I walked along with my suitcase alone
Then I slept in a bed of ocean colors
And you did not care
You turned dead snakes in your bed
The snakes that were red, and gold, and green
And forgot about me
You forgot about me
And what I meant to you
And then it was over
And this was Rome
A placid town on the sea
And this was the place we lived together
Where I said I love you I love you I love you
Over and over
Until I couldn’t speak anymore
Poem to Florence
It took a year without you
To make me write about you
Strange California city on the peninsula
I could have sworn
Had I been there before
My lover had said I connected him to his forgotten things
What is the dull river Lethe
I don’t know, but I think it’s evil
And when I drink of it I don’t see stars
Instead I see the lime groves
I see a dull aching fall
With limes and peaches
I see a woman
I could have sworn
That I’d seen her before
Grass green fence
It is there
So we hop along it
Until the place of fawns and simple things
The pink azaleas blooming in the shaded wood
A child I’d seen there before
Who could have—was she mine
No no but she was my sister
My sister with her mouth so heavy
So full of things she’d wished she’d said
There were things I wished I’d said
And done
But it is too late now
So I go
Heavy with my offering
This book, this book