7 Places in America: Everglades

The yellow bench
in the sad garden
of spices

I see you pause
reading the book
marking the page with your finger

you’ve been dead
a long time
almost a dozen years

but here in the subtropics
you appear, as if in life
reading a book about birds

and smile the smile
that was yours alone to smile
ironic, a little wistful

as if surprised
by Fortune

yellow fruit has fallen to the ground
I was not here
to hear it make a sound of something overripe

and when I listen
for the rustle of the pages
of the turning book

you’ve gone away again
as I always
knew you would

***
Working on putting the mss. together, I wasn’t sure if I should include this. It isn’t a map–rather more personal, and more from the past. Carol Moldaw has been helping me with the book, and she decided to include it and also to set up a numbering sequence for ALL the untitled poems in the seven sections, to link them together.