Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Regent's Park

Today we’re nobody,

our bodies curled in lazy parallel Ss

on the king’s carpet of flowers, under the sun.

Today we might be flowers ourselves,

gold and white and numerous

as the grass. We are pigeons

preening our purple feathers,

strutting to the water two by two.

We’re lovers, and the sky is bluer

than it’s ever been before,

and the city is teeming with stories

that we didn’t write and won’t ever know.

Look—there’s a girl in red tracksuit bottoms

by the water, with a hand full of bread.

The swan arches his neck, looks over

haughtily at the offering she brings.

(Is this the lake that swans came from,

before they flew into fairy tales

and turned into princes?) There’s a woman

in a sea-green sari, rhinestones at the edges.

The baby in her arms reaches out

for the swan and the bread, but she turns away,

whispers tsk-tsk in an unfamiliar tongue.

Let’s pretend we don’t belong.

Pick a language: French, German, ancient Greek—

today you could tell me the toast is burning

and make it sound like a caress.

Or I could murmur my own sweet nothings—

move right down inside the carriage please

in the sonorous tones of the loudspeaker.

With love on my lips, who would be the wiser?

Not the flowers, burnt orange gold that line the hedges,

nor the green and white branches that lattice the air,

snipping the sky into petals of lilac blue.

Not the swans. They wouldn’t notice.

The girl marvels at the touch

of the swan’s hard beak against her palm.

The baby tugs at the sari’s silken edge

and the mother dangles it playfully, sings

a tune too far away for us to hear,

even if we were listening.

1 comment:

heart.body.mind.soul. said...

I love this, Margaret! I like the stream of consciousness feel there is to it, and I especially love the use of the word sonorous...that is a word not used often enough, in my opinion. Great work!