“You were down by the lake,
and nobody’s perfect,
and no one else was around,
and I couldn’t find you,
and I just thought….”
She pauses, she wipes her eyes,
behind her, the skyline parts.
She’s got this face that makes old people
tell her about the flowers they’re planting,
about whose grave is whose and
how long everything has been around.
She goes on walks to look at trees,
she teaches me how to put seeds into dirt—
She shows me the O’Keeffes, the
Lloyd Wright windows, how
squares and circles can lock into each other just so—
she takes me to the basement
to stare into the miniatures,
the English cottages with single-threaded woven rugs,
ivory chess pieces smaller than grains of rice,
twig-thin chairs carved from jack pine,
notches thinner than glass.
“Oh, Molly”—
that dam-breaking hurt when I
tell her what’s wrong,
when I hear what somebody who loves me
thinks of my pain. The outrage.
She spends all day making cranes.
The cranes are for nobody but her,
she buys flowers for the table,
the flowers are for nobody but us,
she knows how important it is to look at
something beautiful and
breathe in, smile.
Thirteen books out from the library and
six outfits every day, it’s all so pressing,
it’s all right now and I never saw someone so
damn good at wasting time.
When I picture her it’s
on the couch, in the sunlight,
blue and yellow, orange and gold, it’s
in the morning, when the day quivers like yolk,
when it can be movies and dough, can be lakeshore,
can be tree-tall—when the day can be anything,
and, more importantly,
when the day can just yawn and be nothing at all.