This from the newest work, "Black Box," by Erin Belieu. It's out in very affordable paperback, published by Copper Canyon Press and you can pick up a copy at your nearest independent or dependent bookstore. Support a poet today; buy their books!
After Reading That the Milky Way
Is Devouring the Galaxy of Sagittarius
at the Dorthy B. Oven Park
I'm certain Mrs. Oven
meant to be nice
when she bequeathed that everything
in her garden should be nice
forever. This explains
one version of paradise:
the tiny gazebo with fluted
piecrust for a roof, the footbridge
spanning a tinkly stream
small enough to step over.
Even this snail drags
an irridescent skid mark
around the fountain's marble
lip. His shell is an enormous
earring like the ones my mother
wore to prom in 1957,
that large, that optimistic.
And because we're never alone
in paradise, my son is here.
He's stolen a silver balloon from
the wedding party posing for
photos before a copse of live oaks,
the trees shawled in moss like
hand-tatted mantillas. Secretly,
I applaud his thievery. And
the bride as well, looking five months
gone, I guess, wearing Mouseketeer
ears with her stupendous gown.
Good for her. Best to keep
two hands on your sense of humor.
Best to ignore those other worlds
exploding, how violently, how
quietly, they come and go.
for Andrew Epstein