For Louise Glück, after reading “A Summer Garden”
In a few decades I plan to find a postcard
from last year. When it arrived
she was back six weeks, but two months ago wrote 24 December
snowing in Berlin glad to be gone for Christmas
people speak and I only say ‘Ja.’ And not missing
her anymore I will scan the missive scribbled in margins
of a German Italian deli promotion. Note
how much meaning can be in a card with three languages still bleeding
from a drizzle endured at twenty.
Running my fingers over its face expecting Braille
a fourth tongue to tell how I was wanted in Berlin
how we can care over oceans
I feel no stamp. No swollen node of international postage
only an aura of having traveled.
Stowed in Death in Venice last spring
with a plotted nod to poignancy it owes
its existence to a defiant despite. Intrepid letter
reached me running with her two iterations in tepid rain.
I’m back and it’s lilac time
Title from Charles Wright’s “A Short History of My Life”
and you tell me trim and trim and make beauty. Unsure whether you mean me or the tree I shuffle out, slow picking. It would be lovely to bring the whole genus, but my arms and our yard are disorder—or bring only the roots but you’ve always hated how everything must cling to survive.
Lilac time clusters in panicles and panics, moments so dense they don’t float. Resent heavy out to the tetherball pole where I used to take swings at myself—past raspberry bushes dead a decade or more, asparagus mowed down in fits of maintenance. I kick lonely so hard it hurls back—let the rope spool, shrinking radians. Let moments twine through the settling branches—leave.
We two are the second harmonic generation. Not harmonious
but still sounding, tension in the vacant steps between. I lope
over for resolution and assure you of our spatial relations.
How we need not be near, only hearing.
You two are the undersides of eggshell, brittle smooth surrounding.
Talking masculinity over mesclun greens, you drink a bottle of wine
each and root into the hardwood. One asks about queer southern
things and answers come out in a drawling falsetto, pitched refusal
to call low latitudes doomed.
We two are specters, secondhand story collections thumbed and
discarded in basement shops. Kindred enough we are candid, warm
with riesling and revealing. Huddled masses in the kitchen, we three
in bright squeezed light from stained glass.
All rights reserved to Lindsey Hutchinson.