This morning the sky takes on the look of one of those inspirational calendars,
all illuminated-edged cumulous with light rays stabbing through like purifying swords,
His Glory in pastel script right about where my neighbor’s SUVs are parked out back,
one black, one silver, miracles
of engineering, collecting light and splotches of berry puree
from the chickadees singing high hosannahs in the overhanging branches.
In Berlin I said, look, this city was bombed and separated with walls and put back together and here we are, now, we should find the neighborhood in East Berlin where my grandmother lived with a doctor’s family, hiding, learning how to give injections, the place where she decided not to go to Moscow and become a doctor, the only choice she regrets...
Given a year adrift on the cold Pacific, the broken cities arrive
crushed, splintered, with all that the water upended
and carried out to sea, all that we might gather from the waves
washing in to the iceplant dunes along the California coast.
So, too, the dead, who float upside down in the silent wreckage...
I want to scream into the hearing aid nestled in his ear,
Where is your fist?
Thick-throated men in black coats scurry to the windows of the suite,
scour the landscape with slitted eyes, estimate the arc of bullets.
They move me from one chair to another to another until I am sitting
so close his breath sparks moisture on my skin...