There is a spot in the garden where the overgrown and seeded-out fennel was uprooted. The phantom scent of fennel lingers on, inexplicably.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the romantics in bloggerland!
For the resolutely unromantic, a good anti-love poem, from Billy Collins’ The Breather
Just as in the horror movies
when someone discovers that the phone calls
are coming from inside the house
so too, I realized
that our tender overlapping
has been taking place only inside me.
All that sweetness, the love and desire—
it’s just been me dialing myself
then following the ringing to another room
to find no one on the line,
well, sometimes a little breathing
but more often than not, nothing.
A close friend in the village, older and seemingly immortal, has to have open-heart surgery and I fight a towering wave of anxiety on hearing this news. It will be fine, it will all work out in the end, hope matters, we each live by the flickering brave tiny light of hope. But fear is the dark wave sliding down again, rearing overhead, the sheer towering unknowability of it all in this life.
She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,
windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.
She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
because it wasn’t there.
No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.