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The Wind’s Odd Needlepoint

 

It is January 23rd and the image of me doesn’t care
that four to six more inches are expected to fall late
tonight. The image of me will not offer to shovel
the driveway tomorrow morning, nor will he scrape
ice off the windshield. Most likely, he will be lying
in bed or roaming around the house in a bathrobe, trying
to remember the name of an old acquaintance who made
a cameo in last night’s dream. But at the moment, it is still
January 23rd and I am watching the image of me whisper
sweet things to the image of my first wife, who now lives
in Colorado, where it takes weeks for the sun to go down
and where they are making omelets in the kitchen
with something that looks like an onion though no one is
crying. The smell, Old Wisdom says, comes off your hands
with lemon juice. Pharaohs were buried with onions, bound
to their ears and soles. One king was entombed
with a bulb in each eye. He was found
flowering. I am feeling out loud. I don’t know
a better way to work through this stuff, and believe
you me, it is January 23rd and I am dragging out
the bedroom from my last apartment to give
the image of me a place to stretch, a chance
to reach across the mattress and trace
the mouth of a certain memory. There are people who love
things that cannot love them back in the same way, things unable
to say Yes, unable to say I never stopped ___________, things lost
in the drift. Banks of old snow are piled high along the roadside,
the tops sewn by the wind’s odd needlepoint into a sheet
and draped over the road, as if to put these things to rest.

 

** poem originally published in the Cimarron Review

 

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