After Seventy Years
Her kisses are missing. Call 911. My mother,
her eyes, are missing, their colour, blue,
Precambrian lake blue, that old, that used
to a world, in its spin, its rounds around
a necessary brightness. The sun is missing.
The purple flowers of the Agapanthus lily
are missing. Gone seventy years. My mother
is lost. Call 911. She wanders from room to room,
passes through my father, leaves parts of herself,
like smoke from her Buckingham’s. It gathers
inside him, holds a blackness from buried years,
layer by layer – pressure and heat. My mother
is listening in a chair, in a room, to an agapanthus
that she wanted after my grandmother cared for it
for seventy years without a bloom. My mother
is missing. Call 911. She’s lost in a dream,
a lily asleep in the arms of the first purple bloom.
Going to Church In Nyamata, Rwanda
Let the tin roof creak and groan.
There are no sounds but this.
The sound the sun becomes
on a hot tin roof.
These corrugations perfectly straight
high above the tiled crypt,
catacomb and skulls, thousands,
mirthless, having a last laugh.
Dust combs through cavities for secrets written in invisible ink.
I want distance, measurements.
By the foot, by the inch.
By the inch, a world
Clutch a rosary. No bridge
and a puzzled god.