62: coma, interlude 7


my father knew that
healthy and hale
have ancient roots
in the notion of wholeness,
but he would ask:
what does it mean?
this wholeness of the holy,
this root that goes so deep.
I feel, he would say,
that I’m missing something,
missing something in the obviousness
of things, that in the stone
is something obvious,
that in my shuddersome
hand I’m holding
the image of a bird
who’d winged away years ago,
leaving behind the other image
of its first downstroke for thrust
and lift and the sharpness
of that last touch of its claws
on my palm and that last
look it gave me
on its way away from me forever.

Imelda would say:
seeing the color of the flower
is enough.
Henry would say:
He’s drawing him back,
but he’s using his will to fight.
Cruz would say:
it’s proof, I say, of the infinite.
Maricela would say:
Not at all; it’s proof
of the not infinite.
Thor, with someone else’s
credit card in his hand would say:
God loves you.
Lucy, with her butter hands,
would say: but I do care
that he comes to terms.

my mother, who painted
her flowers, painted a garden
image in greens, yellows,
and sometimes sunbursts
and little red ladybugs on leaves
and purple petals
and muscular gynoecium
and powder pillow anthems
on their slender filaments
with meditative brushstrokes
that reminded me of guitar strumming.
I saw her with a roller.
I watched her roll the roller
in a pan of black
and roller the black
on that dry garden canvas.
She called it:
garden at night.

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