Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Little Kerf the Dog Chewed in the Orange Frisbee


D. Nurkse

Brothers and sisters, who live after us,   
don't be afraid of our loneliness,   
our dented wiffle ball, the little kerf   
the dog chewed in the orange Frisbee.   

Don't grieve for our kite; not the frayed string   
that clings to your ankle, not the collapsed wing.   

We lived on earth, we married, we touched each other   
with our hands, with our hair that cannot feel   
but that we felt luxuriously, and with promises.   

We made these bike tracks in the sand   
—don't follow them—and this calcined matchhead   
is the last statue of our King.   

We lived between Cygnus and Orion,   
resenting the blurriness of the Pleiades,   
in a house identical to its neighbors—   
stepwise windows, ants never to be repelled,   
TV like a window into the mind   
that can't stop talking, redwood deck   
facing the ocean.   

Everything was covered with sand; the seams   
of the white lace dress, the child's hinged cup,   
the watch (even under the crystal), the legal papers.   

We were like you, or tried to be. We divided our treasures   
(a marble with no inside, a brooch from Siena),   
signed our names with all our strength, and went home   
in two directions, while the marriage continued   
without us in the whirling voice of gulls.