A family recipe, a childhood memory, a Depression-era handout
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at Arroyo Pond
A relapse of Lyme disease:
fever and chills, flickers of pain.
I want to sleep all the time, and my arms ache.
I lie on the steel grate that juts over the stream.
A swarm of midges zigzags in the sun:
sparks that flash
as they hurtle to mate.
Newts pad slowly over the mud
and float in an embrace for hours.
I sat on this same grate with Peter:
the grille marked lines on our legs.
I stood here with Jed as he unbuttoned my blouse:
my boots scraped against metal
when I leaned toward him.
Now Peter is dead, Jed a stranger.
Not much here has changed.
Skunk weed lines the trail;
wild cucumber climbs up the same bay laurel trunk
and ladders its way across branches.
I take my pills. I long to be well
the way I used to long for love.