Monday, November 21, 2005

poem for Sabrina 11/20: I wanted to bring you Neruda

I wanted to bring you Neruda

Something warm, yielding: page by page of vanilla paper a
Soft Something nourishing to your bed
Side. I considered John Donne and dismissed him
Out of turn, too wordy I thought, too pained.

Plath was out of the question.

I wanted to bring you Neruda.
Pages of light and lushness, plants to grow around tickling your toes
In the hospital bed. A forest of loving flowers lifting their faces to
Yours. I pushed aside Lacan and Freud for him…pulled
Volumes from the sunlit shelves bringing up wisps of dust.

He wasn’t by the bed side either
Where I had thought he might sit forlorn with the petals of a rose between
Ivory teeth of pages.

A volume of French Renaissance poets seemed dismayed.

I wanted to bring you Neruda.
But I couldn’t find him in the towers of paper lined up like messy soldiers by
The unkempt sofa.

I brought instead the words of a friend between green stiff covers
Because only a few can speak like Neruda of loves and of lovers
Of friends and leaves and light. I would have brought you Whitman
Had I come at night, but since a cold wind blew down the doors
Numbered in gold on Auburn streets, since the high blue sky of early winter
In purpose had no peer

I brought you Shakespeare.

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