My rice paper brother in The Brooklyn Botanical Garden

He is flying away into a shoebox sky,
He sees no white flowers in the forest.

He is a recalcitrant rose,
Who April showers,
Brought to no flower,
This last day of May,
He became a mole person.

These two days he fluttered by,
One shadow through thousands.

His cheeks are ash from found wood,
Eyes like yellowed scotch tape,
His breath is jaundice exhaling.

How does one so thin,
This rice paper brother,
Throw any shadow at all?

“It’s windy always where I am.”
Cupped my eyes against the subway window,
“Nature abhors a vacuum,”
I said while shrinking away.

Tags all through the tunnels,
Long black faces twist at the windows,
Mole people slump behind the pilings,
Only between each white-lit and bright-tiled station,
Does his skin like raw milk fill the window.

“Seven hours?”
“Yea. like driving just less hassle.”

Each day started clear, grew cloudy, cold, more,
Rain each passing day,
My eyes sat down, they would not adjust.
The brilliance in which he slept,
The half-light of his ever smoking,
The flashes in the subway,
Black to white then night,
White again.

Black girl touches none of her food
Her white boy passes the joint,
Mark leans over, 
“I’m dying, I need a place to go.”

(At this turn in the woods
the bird sulphured his breath
While struggling at the shoebox sides.)

Shoved a bill in the box,
Quick! to the greenhouse,
Quicker past the bursting cherry trees,
Past the rose garden,
Yet stalks under the sprinkling hands of god.

I looked through the lattice
Thought I saw this darting brother,
Found greedy frost talking down
To otherwise springing roses,
Now found reluctant.

At the edge of the pond gustless,
The wind faint dies where lies john’s lily,
One barren spot among orchid others.

Leave a Reply