you hear the busboys hail each other
on the sidewalk after midnight. You hear
the man expectorating in the bathroom of Room 101—
the sound he makes, like someone drowning on dry land.
If it is true there are ghosts, you want to wait
for the one of your grandfather to materialize
and lead you by the hand down the grand staircase,
past tables laid with silver and candelabra
to the kitchen where he cleanly severed
the joints of fowl before he cooked them
in broth with ginger and squash. If it is true
that the rain will never cease, then the trail
of ants will lead from the hibiscus in the yard
to the bowl of honey in the larder; and you’ll eat
spoonful after spoonful so as to never fear
the mold so freely papering the ceilings,
and thus keep it from ever taking root in your lungs.
If it is true, that dream you used to have of hovering
over a billowing sheet in the shape of a sea: then
the green and white days in its aftermath
are only a pause, a door in the garden
through which women in evening dresses
have gone in search of the transcendental;
and into which, consequently, the long afternoon
siestas of childhood have momentarily disappeared.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- [poem removed by author]
- In the hotel with thin walls and the name of a poet,
- Close Reading
- Soul Spa
- The difficulty
- When we speak through a medium
- Whatever it is
- Uncle Frank warned my father
- What can you hear in this downpour?
- Sketches for a Genealogy