You leave the back door wide open,
your bare feet thudding against the dirt,
the dirt cracked with hairy-fisted shoots,
pummeling their message skyward.
You walk straight into the garden
wild with jetting juiced stalks.
You listen to the bees’ talk harden.
Pines swish their wrists, discarding needles
like clock hands. It is 4 p.m.; the garden’s edges brown.
The clouds drop; the sky goes blueberry blue.
You hear the night push her plausive voice,
glistering with perfumeries.
You rush back in, clutching a bouquet of irises,
the crumbling farmhouse blushing with dusk.
You place the irises in a vase on the hutch. The irises’ beards
purple with sweat while you go off to sleep,
your gorgeous middle-aged torso yielding,
your nostrils drumming like dove chests.
Have I added too many strokes? I want so much
to make you real, to get it right.
From THE CLERK'S TALE (Mariner Books, 2004)