When you finally admit you’re broken,
Can I come back up now? asks the chair
with its leg snapped in the basement
and Don’t even get me started, says the sky.
After a while what always spun can’t
without a raw rasp. Exhausted with tears
and rage, the couple look at each other,
shrug, half a face almost smiling.
Smiling the mechanic coming toward us,
wiping his greasy hands on a greasier rag,
shaking his head. Not no exactly, no
inexactly and one year the waxwings
don’t appear where they always have.
You knock and knock at a door, it won’t
open anymore, the paint blisters and peels
and that too you’ll learn is beautiful.
When Rikyū gave his richest patron
a crude clay teapot, it had already
been broken twice. The knee never heals
and when it rains…. The wife can’t forget
what the husband drunkenly raved,
the diamond cutter his miscalculations,
the contractor thinks if only a few hundred
more rivets, just a couple more thou….
If only I hadn’t trusted or trusted
sooner, if I hadn’t tried to pass on the hill.
Broken vow, broken silence with a coyote’s howl.
And you who didn’t get your cat to the vet
in time, who dozed, who messed up
your sister’s wedding yelling at your mom,
who made a friend cry as a joke, jammed
the disposal with the antique, pearl-handled
spoon, who let someone else take the blame,
spiller of red wine on white rugs,
breaker of others’ bones, parachuter,
big talker, lover of fire, dumb creature
of ice, maybe you won’t be forgiven,
maybe you’ll never find all your pieces,
a new home, maybe you’ll search and petition
and wander until you’re heard from no more.
Copyright © 2011 Dean Young
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.