Friday, February 24, 2017

double-double octet from a tuesday evening


two eggs, scrambled in unsalted butter, one
medium red potato, home fried—plantains

were green—two vegetarian sausage links;
weighed today at the doctor, I’ve turned into

a ghost, just words & breath, black t-shirts, gym pants,
shock of sixty-year old hair streaked white, but full—

born lucky with bad lungs; olive oil whispers,
hunger: if rain answers I can’t make it out

so I told her, the doctor, I don’t want to
wither: katsuras in drizzle mostly moss

& gray bark—& how do rhododendron buds
grow scales all winter, silent & silent, bloom

then in technicolor May tongues; my next lives:
a ripple in the river, a crow’s feather

floating from a maple, one letter in a
poem, echo of a shoe on wet pavement

yesterday in a room just this much too warm
talk of praying with the dying brought to mind

a chord in an open tuning: let it ring
today February settled in my lungs:

it has a room there, walls all watercolors,
lamps refracting raindrops, the books all begin

with Japanese maples forgetting crimson,
with every street changed into a mirror

tomorrow: vegetable broth, bamboo shoots,
mushrooms, chili oil, tamari, green onions

simmering in a black stock pot; earlier,
rain will put her hands on my shoulders, proving

I haven’t faded, forsythia’s branches
will reach out yellow past tai chi studio

windows, my rib cage dilated to make room—
hope in one breath let go, the word I’ll give you

Jack Hayes
© 2017

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