Wednesday, April 22, 2015

a poem by liz peters

Coral Trees

All of my relationships are sad,
like a whole bunch of petals doing a slow drop off the acacia tree,
the jacaranda’s tree’s light purple petals
falling down through the air.

I heard that in the most ancient of languages,
the present tense is just the past tense
structure plus the future tense structure,
and the two are perfectly overlaid, like two Roscolene
gel sheets layered across the top of some perfect stage light fixture
and so anytime you say anything
about the thing that is happening right now,
or the thing that you want this instant,
what you’re actually speaking of is some sort of
shiny orange and pink circle,
where past and future combine
before it all just fades.

When I was a sixteen year old,
I believed that the only potential forms of death for me
would be explosion or implosion,
and I wished for some kind of spontaneous
combustion each day.

When I think of time, I like to dwell
upon the thick ray of light illuminating a strip of garden near the table
where Avichai and I sit or sat or will sit or are sitting --
the one with flecks of gold dust swirling around within its ocular bounds like several
galaxies near enough to me to touch.

I guess what I’m saying is that you come home in the afternoon,
and I come down on you, and the music is on.
If you know what I mean, it immensifies me.
I wonder about the jacaranda tree and about whether it is still turning the whole
block light purple with its treats in springtime.
We flew a little.

Liz Peters is a poet from California in New York.  She works as the program manager at Bowery Poetry and will be studying literary translation at CUNY Queens starting this fall.  Her work has appeared in No, Dear Magazine, the Koans and Performance Project and on the album Warszawa by the rock band Point Reyes (Cakes and Tapes, 2012).  

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