The Great Green Wave
by David J. Rothman
The snake still walks on his belly,
The almond tree grows out of the ground
Like black iron and men and women still love
And fight in their petty ways. That would be us, I guess,
Though I’ve never chained myself naked to a fence
And howled like a dog all night.
Still, I have done enough to prove myself human.
And so have you, my dear, so have you.
So many mistakes! Tiny terrible wars.
And yet there still is nothing like the sun,
Perfect and therefore every day resistant to metaphor.
But you and I, we can grasp that solitude, let us
Be its sweet hungover mirrors despite our failures,
You with your rainbow skirt, me with the paper,
Laughing at last night’s arguments, who cares now?
Surely we are strong enough for that. I say
Let the tenderness the sun cannot feel for living things
Become one of its manifestations because of us,
The miracle of being in a dying body
That will go down into the world. You say “What?”
What I meant: life is not impatient, why should we be,
Just because we are the ones alive? Yet impatient we are.
For example, where is my coffee?
This restaurant is slow, darling, slow,
Though as you point out that doesn’t bother the sparrows.
And so, and so, I apologize for my night terrors
And acknowledge that what there can be,
Beyond the dynamo of bitter memory,
Is a devotion to being alive, vitality redux.
Are we not most vividly, most perfectly alive?
Are we not the truth that any exile would profess?
Beyond this carefully imagined piazza the great green wave
Is filling the entire hemisphere again.
Give me your hand, let me feel its warmth.
Let us try to know each other in some way
That has never been thought of before,
In a way that might matter only to us
And will be known only to us.
Yes, that does mean I’ll take out the trash.
Ah, coffee at last, eggs, sun, newspaper, tomatoes!
Forgive me, forgive me, my veins are filled with stardust.
Let us brunch within this bright, irresistible flood
That will become itself again tomorrow forever.