Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My poem in Tiferet

I'm so pleased to have my poem "The River" in the current issue of Tiferet Journal. You'd love the issue, so buy a copy if you can. Here's the poem, which is also in my forthcoming book, Gods of Water and Air:

The River

Cookies crumble in the pockets of my jeans.
I save them in case I need extra fortune.
The one today told me to relax.
Mom always said, What are you waiting for?
Why are you so impatient?
She couldn’t have been right about both,
could she? I just grabbed the nearest one
and I notice as I chew and swallow the pieces,
they all melt into the same thing: loss, anger, joy
swirl down the stream outside the restaurant
I left winking at the statue of Lao-Tzu on his ox.

Take some more, they said,
I took a hunk of architecture,
some random windows—open, close.
I took the cheapest ticket, the desperate caress,
the stolen insight. Moments flowed
through my ears, whispering
that nothing is ever lost, just changed
into memory. I should have done more
with my life.

All time exists at once.
I think Einstein said that, or Lao-Tzu, breathing
down my neck, wanting his river back.
I cross carefully, my shoulders wearing wings
of fog. I step on small islands, all the souls
I have ever known gone
hanging around my neck.