Since I Can’t Paint Landscapes
I Arrange the Furniture

I won’t pretend to know what the stars say, but
it’s not what I hear at night when I listen and wonder
where I fit in this overwhelming darkness and then
say something I learned in the light like an informant
waiting for those I live with every day to leave
me on the other side, where silence fits.

I can’t even open a coat or replace an open door
with a closed one or mount the step after.
I can’t stop a bill from going unpaid, but
I’ll ask a couple of clouds to drop by and
rub themselves gently against the little
lake-like surface of the goldfish bowl.

Enter softening threats and rumpled goings on.
Enter innocuous burdens and temptations.

I get myself together and I generate motion
I arrive at myself and find my date disengaged,
but I participate freely. I advance the cause of
something I’ve come upon in my sleep that remains.

Back then the rain perished, and I waited
to become saturated with its absence
before setting sail inside my snug dry shell.

What she wants is in the pond, and it comes out
only when it wants to, and she comes out to meet it,
only when she wants to, and if she meets someone
on the way to the pond, then that too must be
the pond coming out, if she wants to, only she
would never call it love, but slip into it and wait
for it to return in the proper relation of tables.