Love in a Snow Globe
And so falls a heavy, spring snow, vanishing the taxi window.
We wait for the cabbie, he clears spots on the glass,
front and back, then blows chilliness from his hands.
Warm, with a tang of cigar and piss, the cab slides over the
disappearing road with you and I, sitting together inside,
wearing wool, indifferent as shook figures in a snow globe.
They’re saying it won’t stop, not before morning at least,
and the cabbie whisks our mutterings of half-words,
a thousand memories and our particular desiring through
another caesura, around another corner, in our life together.
I can see the early, broken flowers, some bend over,
some lay scattered in the snow, so many wet, bursting
lilacs and forsythia stars, caught unawares by the dead
of winter. They say that Jesus himself was caught unawares,
by a woman of all things, when she desired him.
Maybe he should have kept still but he loved her loud and
clear and why not? After all he was a human being.
Can you imagine the words he uttered during their desiring?
But we are not like Jesus. We don’t look hard
at a thing until it reveals itself. But why not celebrate the
utter thingness of a thing like love? Sometimes our words
misread themselves and I worry this poem might miss
a turn and wane in the soft cushions and narrow trajectory of this
yellow cab. The landscape before us is blank and white and
the avenue has lost its way, then we pass the corner of Liberty
and West and spy old Harold, the window washer, huddled
and gray, his shopping cart run adrift and the cabbie pulls
aside. Oh, I grieve for Harold, poor heart, he’s
misplaced his desiring and no longer sees these lovely sycamores, whose
outstretched limbs embrace handfuls of red, winter birds, nor the moist
earth beneath them that promises purple hyacinth stems.
This is where you and I put Harold in our cab,
and we’re left standing together, watching Harold roll
into the gloaming, our words gathering in
puffs of steam that float above our faces
like loaded captions.
And ten years from now-maybe twenty
I’ll remember shivering
beneath burning fingertips of betrayal.