No, You Must Still Sit in Gardens

It's always a daunting thing to be gluedto the roads that we walked. You can make your hands mark the street lines for four hundred paces, explaining. Rehearse that road with me, I say from behind this lovely, rusted patina. Mesh your hands with the yellow paint. Explicate, recollect. We children often bury cars and trains in this deep earth but are never found in mounds ourselves. Except for these days. In this interval, the pines still turn. In this interval, the cracked wheat of your fingers is sifting through the picture box, each armoire and empty dollhouse, the swing bellies and tire treads. In this interval, the houseboats, low in the bloated green water, are still leaving port. These portraits of where we stood are delicate.

This is not how your tired arms wanted to rest, cleaning your own spilled milk in the street and eating with only one lamp on. My tiny name, still written in the dust on the coffee table, neighbor to the house fern, will remain in your mind as the houseboats, stationary and moving - - silt and tokens in your mourning robe pocket, preserving and preserving my return to the root of it all.

© Lauren Bernhagen 2010