Wyndham

Except for the schedule
left open at pages 18 and 19
on the table by the window
beside Wyndham Street where
the train station sits,
I’m the real ghost here. So,
don’t believe anything else
you hear, I’m the ghost sitting
in one of the
two empty chairs
facing each other
(their wooden stares, haha)
looking out the window
at the life, as it were,
as if I were on a train returning
to the place that
took me away.

Downspout

Your life never went anywhere.
It stayed with you,
like that poem you lost about your father
that you wrote in ’86
about the bicycle leaning against
the downspout in the rain.

Weight

W
The weight of forty kilos in the sack of flour I carried on my shoulder
and you waiting in the no-parking zone on Wyndham.
Other things are heavier.
The notes in a song.
The traffic.
The sunlight.
Your small hands on the
steering wheel and their
bees-wax stain in my skull.
The question, what is it inside this
I haven’t said and that I’ll say once more,
to stamp out its flesh.
The maps of nowhere in
the side pockets of your door.
The weights of balances and off-balances.
The delicate china of your medieval language,
aşkım, aşkım, aşkım.
The emptiness of faith, its freedom weeded by
the certainty of the barren things we walk beside.
The bicycle leaning against a stone wall,
I should have taken.
Like the million poets in a single flower,
each forgetful and beautiful and the
cleaned-out trunk empty
and ready to carry it all away,
as if I no longer cared who
witnessed me murdering
the thing that carried this thing
between the lines of a spot
where no one, heavier by the second,
waits.

Black Sea

When I typed,
“what are you up to?”
there was nothing
at first,
until, illuminated in a cloud
of text, she arrived:
“I was drinking in the rain.”
Of course,
I understood,
this
was normaI, her layer of metaphor, I
had known her more than…I
had been the closest, were
we to have swapped voices
we would surely be
no different. So,
it was almost
nothing
to put my face inside,
find hers there,
the usual planet, glassy darkness,
a tongue of oxygen landing,
like the feet of a reptile,
only to be swept back into the body,
but the eyes, too heavy
to be moved, remaining
like twin fingerprints on glass
touching stars,
like the shells she had collected,
as a girl, after the storms on the Black Sea
had risen up, and left them. So, I said, “I know, I know.”
“No, no, you don’t, she said.
“I was actually drinking the rain.”

Six Million

When I was a boy
I told the girl
I was bionic, legs,
arms and my eyes,
and the boys,
they could kick me
between them all,
for I would only dive
in the dust
until my cheeks turned
to rain. Little boy,
you will miss
the places you’ve never seen.
You will not see the man
you made
with your six million oceans
of sky. You will try
to come back, you will go away,
you will change your name
to try to name
what made you worth
reaching for.

Coming in from the Rain

Rumination is made with a bell,
landing in me. Drizzle scarves
the shoulders. Dampness is not the opposite
of dust. Movement sticks to its illusion,
she said one night into the sound
of my name in her body. There are only steps, she said,
against the banks of things.
I make it back inside.
Shoes squelch the marble floor,
then plunge the hall. I move into the pulse of it,
up the dead river’s flow.
I can feel your heart in me, she said.

Again

Maybe, this morning
you are raking leaves,
scraping yellow canals through a yard’s
parched lake, that each morning,
after sleep, weigh lightly
against the ankles,
parts, as you walk, rejoin.

Fall is new here, and teases gravity,
and leaves dervish,
decomposing into birds.
But you loved trees,
didn’t you? And me,
mound of decay, smoke-bleached.

And now,
I feel myself breathe.
For a moment, I believe
I can decipher the air
where you sing to yourself,
wading in again, another road
peeling through the beautiful ruin,
recollecting, then, the old truth,
the new truth, that even trees will
have souls again,
while others blacken
as they burn.

Sweetheart

The last thing I want to write about
are words, sweet corpses of feelings,
though last night I dreamt about you,
not you, I suppose, but your foreign words
taunt on my mouth:
“Merhaba, gunaydin, askim,” I said,
to nobody.

In the coffee shop this morning,
there’s a woman here, like you.
Dark hair and dark eyes —
and so
the strange, defiant light.

I’d like to say hello to her,
good morning,
but I’m stopped by crumbs
covering me,
and old sugared coffee spilled
across the table,
sticky against skin, stuck
to its own silent words.