I don’t like what the world has become.
At night, the sprinklers sound like rain
but I am neither fooled nor consoled.
Real rain no longer exists,
and the fish in the rivers
flash with phosphorous.
In secret I compile the history
of the world before the tragedy,
a lonely occupation. As a foreigner,
I write in a language of immunity,
make notes of things, deciphering,
invisible as a tourist.
Inside the nebulous skies,
millions of tiny planes
disperse their seed,
and the radio calls it weather.
There was weather in my childhood
on the other planet,
not that it was lovely. It was cold.
It was lovely, but cold.
When, in my investigations,
I search through the scrapbooks
for proof of this,
I discover the pictures, six to a page,
entangled in a white trellis,
the space around them.
This is the way I remember
Father’s house, a square of darkness
crisscrossed by the moon,
a latticework the ivy climbed.
That’s me in the window,
wondering about love.
I had a mysterious heart.
Perhaps my present disorientation
began on such a night.
In the many layers of the sky,
the stars appeared to swim
and multiply, like snow, or sperm,
or the white cells of death
on the laboratory slide.
Or maybe it was Christmas,
and other people had the Spirit,
but I never had it, as far as I know.
But all childhoods are hazardous,
and their cruelties ordinary.
I love the snowfall,
the blossoms of silence
that gather around us.
Then this planet is cast as the other,
and my life as another’s.
The planes dive toward terra firma
with ice on their wings, which is justice,
their cockpits full of moonlight.
So whether the water spills
through the pipes and spigots
or freezes in the heavens,
it makes no difference.
I come from the snowbound planet,
so far away it seems a spark,
a chip of ice. The truth is,
I did not consent to exile here.
So the mind goes into the past,
or up into a clean, new galaxy.