There she is.
I wondered how she’d look tonight
when earlier today
I swept free the cobwebs from the legs of a patio chair.
Irritable and stately,
half a cloud sliding from one nude shoulder.
Radiant and hungry,
searching for the approval she knows she deserves.
Wide eyed and watchful
99.7 percent full
encountering the events of the world
just as it is today:
November on the coat of a cat.
Crickets at precisely 7:58 PM.
and my mother,
sliding in a pan of cupcakes for my birthday.
What if all our little deaths
are as beautiful as fall?
even the savage that swallows us
wears on its face
our sweet aftertaste
for others to see.
Who’s to say a leaf whirling casually
to its end
doesn’t feel in its dry vein
the same absurdity as cancer
or a broken heart?
It all reminds me of this strange dream I had last night
where I inherited a mansion
historic and regal
the smallest one in a row
of like majesty
but in the basement
rats were eating other rats
and larger rodents paced in cages
all I really remember now
is how beautiful the light looked in the upstairs window.
If I accomplished nothing else today
I planted nepeta cataria
inside the broad mouth of a flower pot
leftover from my grandfather’s passing.
I held a pony tail of her sticky locks
and considered long the origin of her species,
the ancient quality of dirt unearthed
with five extra heaves of a shovel,
and of Annie Dillard for no good reason at all,
ruffling the tips of winter-killed grass
with the flat of her palm.
Loving her not for those words
but for how they make me know her.
I whispered nepeta cataria
for the animal of that root bundle
to rouse with startled delight
inside the dark.