Home > Poetry > Anniversary
Published: Sun Jul 1 2007
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.

Last year’s June brides are setting out lacy cakes to defrost. Paper
plates and napkins for a picnic-anniversary. The first year is made of paper.

“My silence you undo like the moment the globes of overhead light in a ballpark
_                _shut
their humming wattage—and the stars begin to swirl,” she wrote on a valentine
_                _of paper.

The smell of snow, memory is a fabric dense with perfumes: Father shoveling
white heaps that cower like strayed sheep; I fold into sleep made of paper.

A man lives in a curfew-town on the western side of a wall. When he walks
he is walking in someone else’s dream: slow rückenfigur clutching the evening
_                _paper.

Arms of lilac shrub lift in a churchyard. He woke to the thought of lilacs.
The work of grief is perennial: flowering in the given month, unfurling our leaves
_                _of paper.

But this bird doesn’t sing: caught between storm glass and screen, half sun-
_                _bleached, half
cardinal wing. The dusty specimen into a brown bag, poor lich-house made of
_                _paper.

So sweet is thy discourse to me…when you quiet you are giving darkness
to night’s clockwork—and the stars sing,” he answered on an airplane made of
_                _paper.

Tell me the city doesn’t glimmer with broken glass, disaster won’t rain upon
_                _them.
Tell me the air is filling with ticker-tape, trombones, victory of softly falling
_                _paper.

Remember me in a future April when rivers are the color of tea in the Carolina
Lowcountry and where Easter recipes are lettered on handmade paper

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