In Which I Time-Travel at the
End of the Twentieth Century
Back, brain: to the caul of adolescence,
to the wanderings of hormones
and to hemispheres shifting.
The sun loiters behind the clouds--
when I turn on the radio,
I'm tracked by bad songs
from years ago. Waitresses scowl
at weary customers.
I couldn't put myself in your way
to save you, couldn't catch the bullet
that passed. The only way
of looking at the lung is after
it's no longer needed,
its clean, pink music, enchanting
if you're seventeen, your senses
skewed from the brevity
of experience. And wasn't beauty
what this was all about all along?
Strange that this late crows
can still catch my eye,
so even when
the briefcase and the steering wheel
point me toward the office,
even when my vows have been made,
even when an aerial view of the plats
and valleys of this life would show
a clear path, obvious and easy,
I still meander near the unsure courses
that present themselves off to one side--
seductive--perhaps even possible.
Take my case as every woman's
who's ever listened to promises.
Believed them. Thought them
true.The prediction is always
for the sun to set and rise,
for the seasons to change,
for meaning to sneak in, rather
than present itself up front.
I believe this with every cell.