Issue 209, Summer 2014
Eating a sugar sandwich, I sit at the kitchen table
admiring the geraniums outside the window,
their big heads as American as Martha Washington.
I grew them from seeds and now the leaves are frilly like genitalia.
After so many sunrises together, they almost have faces
with puffed out mouths and throats, and when night falls,
they mix glamour with the gutter, like Paris or Rome,
but in the morning, they’re themselves again, as birds hover
in the distance—hunting on the wind, using their tails to equilibrate,
pushing their shoulders forward and back to rise and fall.
I love this backstroking, or upstroking,
which the sparrows use, too, when they fly right in front of my car.
Lately, my vision has been graying a little at the edges,
but these geraniums with their fragrant leaves
and this gritty sugar sandwich make me feel my whole body
and my whole mind superimposed at once.
It’s the opposite of self-obliteration.
If I think Where am I? I immediately feel I am here!