from GARDEN

 

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.

Lindsey Webb