we looked out the garage door
to see the rain falling like silk
transparent handkerchiefs, and the fall colors
muted but not yet gone.
This morning Orion, his dogs
at his feet, walked down the
hill of the morning sky.
On Walcheren Island
eight thousand down with malaria
and the town of Vlissingen
pounded to ruins. English
sailors step through
their handiwork and grieve, but
none of them doubts the necessity.
Women and children, they soberly
note, were burned to death
inside the church on Sunday morning.
How much would we really have to know
to stop being cruel? I gaze in wonder
at people who think they know that much
Standing behind you,
holding the flowers of your breasts
to the rain of the shower.
You apologized because, you said,
you were not in the habit of expressing affection.
I suppose it's true, in
a trivial way. But every word, every breath
is a testament. You have no idea
what towns are beaten flat
and what gardens are brought to flower
by your love.
God I guess forgives us
because repairing us
is beyond his powers.