From “Love, an Index”
A new poem
by Rebecca Lindenberg
Gloss, a word is not an epitaph but it is not the thing
it signifies, either. Except perhaps: the Word,
which may be why it was there in the beginning
and was God.
Greece, philosophers and athletes, white garments
and tragedy masks. In Delphi there’s a mountain
fringed with red poppies and where we walked
a goat-herder listened to his iPod and to his goats,
their spangled bells.
Guilt, not a feeling but a way
of perceiving the fact that I didn’t
tell you to stay in Yakushima, or go straight
to Okinawa, skip the side trip. If you can’t stop
seeing this way, you become the king
who had to put out his eyes.
Guitar, covered in bumper stickers such as “I Heart
Mormon Pussy” and “Dip Me In Honey &
Throw Me to the Lesbians” and “Jerry Falwell
Can Suck My Tinky-Winky” and on which
you played “Hallelujah” so, so soft and slow.
Tear Gas, it was Labor Day in Colombia. Parades
of people all in yellow. We took the funicular
up to Monserrate, you caught the little boy
trying to pick your pocket. You just teased him.
We walked down the winding path they said
teemed with bandits. No bandits.
On our way to visit the man who sells emeralds
we found ourselves in an alley blocked by riot police.
We turned down another street and I said
What’s that smell? It’s like air freshener—
We have to go, you said. This way. Right now.
We hope you enjoy this excerpt.
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