Maybe I Was Meant To Be Humbled

by Elizabeth Garber

Maybe I needed to be broken, my will and desires,
visions shredded, leaving me facing empty nights, clear
eyed, neutral and alone, Balboa exploring a placid sea
not knowing if I am going anywhere but here, my
tangerine sheeted bed, my marmalade cat purring,
French Provencal blues, yellow flowered, orange
twirled squares sewed into a map staking out the world,
edges of the sea pouring off the square edges where
lions and basilisques hover out of sight, where ships
sail to the edge, hurtling off the flat earth’s rim.
Maybe
I was meant to plow my fierce dreams back into
the soil of sleep under flannelled perfume of cotton,
cologne of pillow, in the thrall of butterscotch light
licking my thoughts, lapping against my eyes as I pull
my frantic notebook to me, like a lover’s arm in the dark,
even though the comfort of another’s body is a fading story
I’ve lost the text for, the bookmark fell out of that page,
the volume closed and I slept past the plot, yawned as
that world vanished, ventriloquist of the afternoon,
Alfredo of the night, my coverlet of sleep hovering
under the sleep of bees, the sleep the sting brings,
hiving in the leaves waiting for our footsteps, waiting
for the embrace of bees to knot and choke the heart out
of its daily rippling struggles.
Maybe hope had to pack up
his charlatan’s embroidered cloth, the one he threw on
the ground in the market place for centuries, where
his dice and bones landed, twisting futures over every
surly wind.
Maybe the fortune teller’s
deck had to be overturned, the Tarot cards scattered to flit from branch
to branch like warblers, migrating soft blur of yellow,
beat of wings, fragile puff of feathers in the wind,
pumping their minute journey across ridiculous oceans,
Maybe their hope has feathers, but maybe mine
was meant to be broken, a crumbling parchment
scattering over north Atlantic seas.
Maybe I needed
to catapult from the suck of the gravitational field, like this