Word II (and other poems)

from And Other Travels: An Anthology of Poems, Moonstone Press, 1988

Word II

(for Mark Garber)

seeds within seeds
some grow, some wilt
all are conceived
if not in you, in somebody else
if not here, elsewhere
all at some point flower

i am polyglot
not sure which language is native
which country is home

and all my skins are itchy

The Perfume of Angels

(for Mark Garber)

A place
perhaps in Mexico
where a river
runs down a mountain.

After much tequilla,
who can tell?

I smelt perfume.

The Mexicans couldn’t smell it.
My nostrils had become a dog’s.
I could smell another earth:
unused, Edenic.

I looked around for birds
or a bed of flowers.
There was nothing
except this smell
of a thousand seated angels
having got up
and unexpectedly vanished,
leaving perfume
for presence.

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