A National park is an island, II


I saw a leaf fall to the ground
in the park today
like a gnarled, brown hand.
Dovecotes, populated
with pigeon-gargoyles, loomed
Does that make me half-made?
Does that make me statuary?
I am a live intruder in the cantons
of joggers, walkers, dogged
readers, lunchers, lawyers, witnesses.
My feet are already in wet cement
there is no way for me to sit on this bench
in a way that says: I am at peace with all this, all them.
A weevil crept into my mouth last night,
clipped my masseter and sewed it together
an eighth of an inch tighter
The one standing across from me
he looks the type.
Him, his wife, their greyhound pup,
barely holding together like a bundle of twigs
its sternum, its legs splayed like a threadbare petticoat
if it kissed the dirt, under its shiny flinty coat
twitching muscles fraying like a rope—
            what then?

Coming home,
you’re peeling apples with a paring knife
the long, burning skin unwinds into my brain.
You left the butter in the plate on the table
so that it’d spread evenly
even though it scares you.
The ginger you put in my tea
was brown and gnarled—like my hand on top of fresh sheets

windblown—no—forgive me, I was kissed by you.

While I was playing cold in the park
you were making me tea

The grass has grown,
only the grass.

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