The garden builds up the natural exactly as fast as it disintegrates. I can’t help but begin with an original. The fence, affronted: “original?” Guitar music, violin music, I read in my exercise book that with enough practice one can access the overtone sequence, “in which each frequency is an integer multiple of a fundamental.” There must be a quicker door.
But this entire place aspires to allegory. The catalpa, too, with help from the fugitive wind, has decided to escape its plot.
Everywhere I plant theories about your death they come up several months later sticky and rotting from the inside with motive.
The garden is not avoidable, it’s a staging ground. In heaven there will also be symmetrical chrysanthemums, labor, heaviness. I’m told the grower took gold at last year’s Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Show. Meticulous green!
An apple tree painted on the wall looks like a plan. I walk over, as if to confront illustration. I pretend to cup the fruit in my hand and pull it back, pluck it from the tree, lift it into the third dimension. I drop it by relaxing my fingers. But the red fruit remains an argument kept closely to the wall, still red.
My reply is overdrawn, and I reach out as if to pay again.
Within days I sit in a circle talking, against a daylily. At first I chat about your young death, echoing the sentiment of a
“new sisterhood,” as if the garden had no structure. Just a cloud of light. Then violet, fugitive scent, brings me to
myself. They ask, “what can we do to prevent deaths like hers?” I stay quiet and scrape the plat. I find shafts, beams, I discover, what, a new luminescence? No; centipedes, reforming loss, lattice of rot and raw matter, nailed into
planks. A pink wilderness of sod and infrastructure.
An ant breathes, pauses. The ant thinks, and I think. I think
the garden preserves the pages of books, rather than vice versa. The oil of flowers writes in empty loops, slow against the English. Before you died, I could imagine a book’s fourth dimension—the dimension of stain, skipper of pages. Now the ant enters a tunnel it built itself, and the garden rotates around it like a thread around a spool.
Another path unwinds, then splits.