May/June 2018 • Vol. XL No. 3 Nature's (Human) NatureMay 1, 2018 |

Garden

I walked in the romantic garden and I walked in the garden of ruin. I walked in the green-skinned, black-skinned garden of Osiris who was ripped to pieces and reformed and adored. I walked in that wet, incestuous plot. Am I the only one who reads for innocence? I walked in the garden of Amadou Diallo whose shadow was punctured by unnumbered shafts of light leading from West Africa to America where wallets are guns. The chirp you heard in the garden as of two black holes merging is what we called the soul. And when we cup our hands to drink at his fountain we make the shape of his skull. Am I the only one who reads for thirst? I walked in the gardens of Houston where lizards took their colors at the borders between terror and wonder, dread and leafy glade, between silence and Sinatra. I walked in Pope's garden in Twickenham that rhymed wilderness and picturesque, walled in and out the stunted self. In the garden of ruin new growth from the palms I read as artful, neutral. In the roma

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Bruce Smith is the author of six books of poems, most recently Devotions, a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Awards, the L.A. Times Book Award, and the winner of the William Carlos Williams Prize.

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I walked in the romantic garden and I walked in the garden of ruin. I walked in the green-skinned, black-skinned garden of Osiris who was ripped to pieces and reformed […]

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