Apology for and Further Explanation of an Attempt to Divert Accusations of Equivocation

By | 1 July 1999

In my hometown, it was like January,
like January in Oaxaca, in Fortin

de las Flores, like Fortin
in the mid-forties, like the 40s

in December, like December
on the river, a forest of willows

half in, half out of water,
like the river in the picture,

like the picture above your bureau,
like your bureau filled to overflowing

with feathers every colour of the spectrum
feathers blown through vowels,

through curtains of bougainvillea, going
on forever, forever as it formerly was,

in the lustre of a loved one’s luggage,
baggage to carry lightly or solemnly

toss-off into the Bay of Fundy.
Thank you for four golden mice

who never wake me up at night,
for the pocket-size surveillance device,

for books which tell me nothing’s unakin.
In January it was like my hometown

in the 1940s in the middle of December,
December a cool glass of water at noon

in the summer, a clinking of cowbells
to signal it’s evening. I was seven

four, eight, eleven, still unborn,
brother to my younger sister,

sister to my mother, father like a twin,
twins like vapour trails on clear nights

in October.You were my shadow
I dared not step into.You stood by

my shoulder, champion, angel, faithful
companion I dare not look in the eye.

What was it like for you?
Were you about to step into your skin,

like water poured from a pitcher,
like an ant into amber, like molten gold?

Was the gold like someone’s fortune
or folly, folly a moving picture you’d get

into for a quarter, when a quarter meant
more than a dollar, a dollar a bit

of a future you’d be expected to furnish,
I’d be with you to finish,

of a finish wearing the date of your birth,
polished with everyone’s hopes,

polished with everyone’s dreams
lost in a basket of keepsakes.

This entry was posted in 05: UNTHEMED and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Related work:

Comments are closed.