Buddha in the Garden of Waste

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

You go inside for more drinks,
and I wander your garden.

You have left it to weed over.
Old perennials suck desperate
at the slums of the soil.
A plastic windmill sways
on a rusty stem, one vane lost.
All the rest hang their faded heads.

I found a fat Buddha
in a tangled flower bed;
hands upturned,
he invites the seasons back,
ever the optimist;
he laughs even as a vine
wraps her hands around his neck.

I’d like to reincarnate this garden.
I’d like to pull up
the clotbur and the crabgrass,
lay down fertile new soil,
plant dozens of little bombs
ready to explode in spring.

I’d scrub fat Buddha
and let him breathe. I’d fix the windmill,
I’d make barren into beautiful

but when you wobbled back,
with drinks in your hands,
I decided I always try
to fix wasted gardens,
and not this time, not this time.


Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

After dancing all night,
you left open the bathroom door.
I can see parts of you in the mirror.
I watch you unpaint yourself.

You stand at the sink, unbloused,
you remove the tiny baubles
of your earrings, you remove your pearls.
You take the pins from your hair,
you let it tumble down —
I wish I were the shadow of your hair,
full of the fatal scent of you,
guilty of tangles, guilty of a murmur
on your shoulder, your neck.

You wet a cloth.
You wipe away blush and eyeliner,
cleanse foundation and contour,
dark mascara,
the sinful deep rose of your lips.
You confess your skin,
you whisper the truth of your skin.

You step out of your heels,
tired ball and arch of your feet
uncradled and returned to cool tile.
You tiptoe from view

into the hot susurrus of the shower,
and leave me only with imagination:
I imagine you, enveloped in downpour,
in suds, in scents of sandalwood and wild orange.
I imagine you sponge away sweat and perfume,
soap and heat tumbling out of the dark
confession of your hair.

I imagine all places you wash:
hungry rib and live collarbone,
kindled breast and hot belly,
thigh, fevered vulva,
imagine my hands as washrags,
my hands as steam.

I cannot wait for you to finish.
I lie and listen to you bathe,
I am tense with desire for you.

Bring your body back to me,
its blemishes uncovered,
its shape adored sans adornment,
let me untowel you,
let me lick the cleanliness from your spine.

I want you without decoration,
without pigments or jewels,
only with the red flowers
only with the purple gems
my mouth will paint on your skin.

Companion Plants

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

I have picked up so many books
lately about compost and gardens,
about how seed take root,
about the systems of life:
insect and loam, vine and water,
aeration and mulch.

This morning, I told you my plans.

You asked me if I wanted to
plant flowers or fruit,
something delicious to look at
or something delicious to eat

and I decided, if you were a seed,
you would be both.
I would make for you a bed
of decadent soil, sweet earth,
and bathe you with clear water.
I would blanket you in winter,
tend your fresh seedlings
and your first green shoots
just to see you bloom in spring.

One of my books taught me
about companion plants:
species that flourish best
when grown together.
They shield each other
from wind and blight,
roots intermingled,
a nourishing symbiosis
that yields healthier growth
for both.

I’d like to plant myself
beside you and see
what kind of garden
we could become.