From Vignettes of the Way I Remember
I thought you were
Orpheus, but I am
after Inger Christensen
before exists, before an afterthought, before
before births or birds. Before blue.
Clouds and circuses and circumcisions exist
crying exists, and cradles.
Calling to gods or great- great grandmothers.
Death exists, darkness, digging, depth
exists, diameter, dreams, dreaming
dreamt exists and existed. Droughts,
drugs, desperation exists, Over & over
Early mornings exist into evening
with nobody home but the dog, who exists
but she isn’t sure if you do any more.
Easter eggs exist, and everything else, essentially.
Fiddleheads ease their way into existence, unfolding-
unfurling, existing on wet forest floors that exist
on the edge of town that exist on an old dirt road
between you can get there from here and forever,
which I’m not quite sure exists, but the thought of forever exists
so forever exists.
Ghosts exists, gas lights and gaslighting exists (no it doesn’t),
garage door openers exist, gifts & garland.
Judy Garland existed once, gone now, existed.
Grownups exist, and giraffes and grinning.
Grinning is gorgeous and exists sometimes on grown-up faces,
which is a gift, these days. These days exists endlessly,
but the light is growing, and we are giving in or giving up.
Hopelessness exists and helplessness.
Hope and help exist. Sometimes just hanging in there
or hiding. Heavy limbs. Holes. Holding exist. Hold on, hold
in, hold up, hold over, prepositions exist, helpfully.
Heavenly Hash is my favorite ice cream, and I can
only find it sometimes, so that makes it holy.
I hear hygee exists without an exact definition, so it exists
best of all- wholesome, for what it’s worth
Just kidding exists. Jokes, joy, juju bees
and jungle gyms. don’t worry,
so does jealousy, jail, and jerks.
But mostly, jelly roles grandma would bring over on Sundays
and jump roping with Sylvia and the word “jaunty” which you rarely use
but find comfort in its existence- your mother
first used it in a story to describe a man who reminded her of a rabbit.
Juggling, jellyfish, justice,
jambalaya, jaywalking, johnnycakes,
Jazzercise exists. Thank god for Jazzercise. Where would the world be without Jazzercise?
Poems to read at my funeral, and also at every birthday, part. 1