329 Readings

The Future of Flowers

All night I listened to the man
laughing in the courtyard. All night
his laughter said,

Let things outlast you: everything you do,
do as if you could live with it. 
Forget the closed cluttered shops, the river. 

Go with rain in your hair;
do not think of the little frozen animals you saw –
you wanted them in their forests, their nests,

but they are dead, and they want to be dead. 
Yes, you are here, but the future blooms;
make your way without stopping time even once.  

Over the Opera: purple clouds, cerulean streaks – that's all.
Caught up against Beauty's omnipotence,
none of us thinks clearly.

I open the door to the morning, and know
there are worse things than having to leave
Paris, but only so many.
Posted 03/12/13
This poem is quite old, and was the title poem for my graduate thesis. When I wrote it, the poem began with the last line and ended with the first. Then I met with my then-teacher Matthew Zapruder, who told me, "it's backwards". I didn't see it at the time, but now I believe him.
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