Spring 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 2 Poetry |


Well, I am like a palm tree, the plant of pure ugliness, somewhere in a front yard spared by the last hurricane, one of the royal ones whose glory is turned to scum, whose riches are turned to rubbish. It is as if its skin was chiseled, it is as if its hair was ripped from its head, its dirty squirreltail fronds turning brown on the sidewalk. It is as if the wind was showing it some kind of love, the light beams of Plotinus straight from the stars, like arrows pointing down, like eyeballs pointed up, the arrows of our desire more broken, more curved, the music coming in English as well as Italian, Pavarotti singing wein, wein, my mother on the edge of her bed staring at the lighted box, her throat not yet closed up, her own eyes wet with song, a fixed smile on her lips, her longing for the past so keen it breathed in her, the moon now gone from her life, the light on the bay now gone, the Floridaof anger and melancholy also gone, Pavarotti, a fat angel with a bearddressed in a silk

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