In this heart’s garden there’s a gathering going on –
phantom playmates culled from misty memories,
anomalous voices who spoke out loud
from lost street corners, moonshine temples,
ancient battlefields, vaporous mirrors,
seething realms of flashing light,
faces drawn from a darkness
I myself was too dark to see.
All are circling, ghostly hands and hearts
twined happily for the sake of happiness,
happy in the way the autumn leaves
that wrap my own heart are happy,
happy with no memory of anything
but this happiness, this presence indefinable,
this absence of even any happiness at last,
any wisp of birth or death, of anything
we could say or know, remember or forget –
here, absently smiling in a corner of your garden,
the flowerless stem of a rose in winter,
colorful petals all dropped off,
all fallen away.
“Forget me not, forget me.”
I could not see you before, I could not hear you.
Then you showed me your poem, the poem that is you.
You loved the rain. Your voice was just as clear.
Still, I couldn’t bear the clarity of my own death,
and so I longed to lounge in that springtime breeze
of all I dreamt to be us, finding finally the yellow leaves
of a summer folded into fall, falling into winter.
Within the deeper purity of snow, nothing falls --
no laughter, no weeping, no love or lover of it,
no dancing in a swoon of life, no trick of death,
no waiting for the one to appear we once
called out in a dark place for, no you and I,
no crown of heaven, no petal, stem, no root,
no soil, no time or space, no anything
I could name or blame for the emptiness
of what stays in place or the emptiness
of what changes.
Now even there, arching up through the frost
one stalk stands still, the flowerless stem of a rose
in winter, colorful petals all dropped off,
all fallen to rest in you, my Love –