1/20/2021: “Aurora”


For Carlos

after the fireworks are ended

[fireworks: joy upended, ordinance
of dedication, starlight confetti
unfettered celebration, the blitz
that is balm, the bombs of bliss]

after I have smelled my husband’s
neck to satisfaction

[there is nothing like it; I can-
not retain it, sunlit heart-
beat, happy soapscent
cleanly, comely, last-homely-houseiness
but ever and above this
the haecceity of him]

after I have announced my
intention to pen
a poem

[this is totally Amanda Gorman’s fault
I blame naught else, nor name no other
nor uphold the goldgleam of
any other queen than she
who is, today,

after the nurses and the teachers and
the students and the astronauts and the
soldiers and the grocers and the Legends and
the Foo Fighters and the chefs and the drivers
and the Seamus Heaney-spouting Mirandas making soft eyes at us from Washington Heights
have compelled me cry

[from the other side of Troy]

after all this, yes, I have sat me my fine ass in all its rosy sitzfleisch down, in my cotton nightgown, with my clown-stained fingers, with this pen that only sort of works, and awkward chocolate staining my shirt, on this borrowed table, in this borrowed space that we have for a grace of time, where we have dined in solitary splendor and remembered the revelry of silence, remembered that in isolation there is also solace, and I am stuffed so spiffily with the iconography of dawn, with wine-purple pantsuits and repurposed wool mittens, the nacreous unity of ten thousand pearls, earnest children in their kitchens working to feed the world, that all I can breathe, all I can see, all I can sing at the end of all this is


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