Wednesday, March 16, 2016

semi-truck & trash can sutra

    for Brittany

it must have been March the cornel dogwood, the
forsythia yellow—magnolia another story—

you wanted photos to send the Israeli, you
always called him that—but the photos:

you thought it best to pose beside metal trash cans,
one dented, graffitied—I questioned that—

or standing chin in hand on the rusted ramp
of a semi parked on your street for no good reason—

your poems packed with Celan & Hank
Williams in miniature, & Far Rockaway bungalows;

the jars of pickled cabbage, a grandmother’s
recollections of Belgrade’s wild flowers & horrors,

the Burgenland’s creosote snowfalls, the faux fur
Macy’s winter coat she announced would be her last—

I always admired your sense of history,
not to mention your thirst for black coffee—

alien now in Ohio with a blue lovebird squeaking
thank you, your sheitel nearly ginger as your

hair in those snapshots—the Israeli, mercurial,
came & went—your husband now a mensch a scholar

in white tzitziyot; the ornamental cabbage swells
bruise purple out front: always faithful to your vision

Jack Hayes
© 2016

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