Jessica Greenbaum

My Lovely Garonne
January 10, 2013 Greenbaum Jessica

My Lovely Garonne

                               for A.Z.

 

Because every tenth poem or so the poet described

the river of his city, I began to live within sight

of the river, thinking about one thing and then looking

to the left where glinted the river, tempered or fibrillating

at the end of the block, and the blocks became

a conversation, the view became the love threading

between the speakers, sometimes lazily, sometimes darkly,

sometimes seeming brushed backward by wind

against its own grain, and each section of the book

(there were three), remembered to include the river,

because no matter our despair about the destruction

people have wrought against each other and the earth,

we’re sewn to love, sometimes everywhere you look

offers evidence, the light on the river’s surface

like little stitches, the dawn’s half moon, white, stuck

like a dime in the coin slot ready to get the day going,

the tree above me so expansive it covers six city

yards, creates its own neighborhoods for the birds

and squirrels which travel its byways, and as the pages

of the day turn—it’s already light; we’ve already

lost the privacy of the prefacing dark—I mistake

the distanced sound of traffic for the commentary

of the river, which I live alongside now, a little

hope, on my birthday, that all the systems can gain

strength from each other, as we are grateful for the feral

cherry tomatoes, redder than our seasonal cardinal

and also here without our help, ready for picking and

watered, from now on, by the river running underneath.

Jessica Greenbaum is the author of the award-winning poetry collection Inventing Difficulty,  chosen by Library Journal as one of the year’s five best and recently reviewed by Lisa Russ Spaar in Los Angeles Review of Books.  Her poems and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the Nation, Poetry, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. She is the poetry editor of upstreet.