After Amichai (At Work 2)

Look: my dreams were the strings of colored balloons,

connecting me to those floating, deflating things,

swinging in the bright cold air, pulled and pushed

by the wind’s irascible hands.  What can I tell you?

My father was a tree, a grove, memory itself.  Still is; 

my mother what music does, like a string lifting me,

dangly puppet, up into the light.  They met and time

screeched to a halt.  In the flaring noonday dust

they stared at each other’s self-images,

like shocked watery mirrors, shook hands 

and leapt into the sky.  Later I dropped,

wrapped in wax paper, with my twin brother,

who sighed like the rain.  Our older brother was waiting, 

biting his lips, thinking about questions without answers

that knocked around in his head like a new invention. 

We all drove places in the station wagon,

landscapes whizzing out the windows at pinball speeds;

and we sang even when we didn’t,

songs of our personalities touching and bleeding

like colors in a wheel, the noise of lives intersecting

in vast and complicated networks of imagination,

like a million ladders laid down in different ways. 

The sun outside the windows

did its drowsy awakening business.

And dust motes, faceless ballerina-points,

whirled in ecstatic boredom

as the car drove on and on.

   

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