At the Berkeley Rose Garden

A foreground of passionate blossom. Two redwoods
telescope vision to the background: the Golden Gate,
bay flecked with sails. It is easy to prove

geography cannot cure
the human heart, this, whatever it is, fallow spirit,
soul wandering the irregular stones.
Two women

with camera pause
before the Blanc Double de Coubert,
the first an old gate swinging
and creaking, the second

weakly wrong. A girl
in another earthly paradise, watching
the sun grow low on the crescent
of the Mississippi, I thought
I could find myself in Shakespeare:
For thy sweet love remembered . . .
It seemed so clear then
that love is what is needed.

The man with a bandanna on his head
and a book in his hand goes by twice,
mumbling to himself, bends over
the pistil and stamen. A flute.
There is a wedding. Hardest of all
is to live with oneself.

When so much is lost:
his knee, the sparse
red curling hairs, the blue-tail fly.
Like a dream, we record it
and dream it over and over again,
until nights and days begin to take on
the same shapes:

like spine, like love, like resting place,
like bridge. Something crossing the Golden Gate
catches the sun and ignites.
Even at heaven’s gate,
every child is alone.

Read on . . .

Delphiniums in a Window Box,” a poem by Dean Young
Lilacs,” a poem by C. X. Hua

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