She knew how to seduce her destiny,
predict the time of flight
In 1939, dressed in garments
of night and happiness
at the threshold of a fearful
resolved to live,
to Southern seas.
In 1938, the windows
of her house of water and stone
resisted the extreme
horror of that night
of broken crystals.
She, my grandmother,
taught me to recognize
the landscape of danger,
the shards of fear,
the impenetrable faces
audacious in their will to live.
created a domain
of papers, fragile vessels,
clandestine poems and
notes to be made,
With little baggage,
like a frail and ancient
although ready to embark again.
I survived next to her
and I was thankful for the gift of her presence.
and spy whole lifetimes on the undersides of leaves.
Jazz intrudes, stank clogging that neat procession
of lush and flutter. His eyes, siphoned and dimming,
demand that he accept ardor as it is presented, with
its tear-splashed borders and stilted lists, romance
that is only on the agenda because hours do not stop.
Bless his sliver of soul. He’s nabbed a sizzling matron
who grays as we watch, a thick-ankled New England
whoop, muscled to suffer his stifling missionary weight.
Earth-smudged behind the wheel of her pickup,
she hums a tune that rhymes dots of dinner trapped
in his beard with twilight. Is it still a collision course
if you must lie down to rest? Bless her as she tries
on his name for size and plucks hairs from her chin.
Bless him as he barrels toward yet another wife
who will someday realize, idly, that her only purpose
in this dwindling novella of his days is to someday
lower his heralded bulk, with little fanfare, into a grave.