Delphiniums in a Window Box
by Dean Young
Every sunrise, even strangers’ eyes.
Not necessarily swans, even crows,
even the evening fusillade of bats.
That place where the creek goes underground,
how many weeks before I see you again?
Stack of books, every page, characters’
rages and poets’ strange contraptions
of syntax and song, every song
even when there isn’t one.
Every thistle, splinter, butterfly
over the drainage ditches. Every stray.
Did you see the meteor shower?
Did it feel like something swallowed?
Every question, conversation
even with almost nothing, cricket, cloud,
because of you I’m talking to crickets, clouds,
confiding in a cat. Everyone says,
Come to your senses, and I do, of you.
Every touch electric, every taste you,
every smell, even burning sugar, every
cry and laugh. Toothpicked samples
at the farmers’ markets, every melon,
plum, I come undone, undone.
Until I’d nearly finished, I wasn’t entirely clear on what this poem was about and I like that. It’s a list, with nice sounds and mouth feelings, but until I got to “because of you I’m talking to crickets, clouds, confiding in a cat” it wasn’t completely clear that I was reading of pining love; memorized love; electric, and possibly new, love.
I don’t really understand the meteor shower. “Did it feel like something swallowed?” is opaque to me. But, as I said, I like this poem. It’s pace lovely movement gave me cause to slow down on a hectic day, look at some images of delphiniums and the definition of the word “fusillade.” All things good, and especially better than window shopping online or eating another mini-snickers bar.