Of the Past

It’s sitting in your car one winter in Rotterdam that I tell you your future.

It’s quiet except for my voice like a radio buzz shaking the car slightly,
and the streets are dreams with edges that fall off.
We drive into the headlights, past the field that makes us feel rural,
so unmoving and flat like the safety of the dashboard’s horizon.

I talk and hear my own thoughts together and you can hear me now and see me then and the mess of it was in a dream (someone’s) somewhere

(We dance in shallow water
in shadowed water
smoke on a rooftop in New York
shake at the heights and smell
cut mango flowers floating up from a street cart.
That’s much later.)

And the past too (my past not yours):

We spent a summer day
picking cherries in the backyard,
eating tomatoes in her mother’s garden.
Her half-blind cat swept through the sunflower stalks,
licking the sunrays off his paws.
Bleeding softly, the pits collected on napkins,
while the night ate the tree leaves,
casting shadows on fallen fruit.

Her mother’s fresh pierogies
cooling on the counter
dipped in sour cream with sugar.
All that food was love and all that love
sits still in my stomach. She’d lick the plate
when it tasted too good.

When the car stops you say:
I’m waiting for life so I can make
something that’s so full of truth you’ll
have to close your eyes and let it burst and burn
like a drunken firework.

I only know one way to kiss,
I’ve only seen underneath my lids.
So uncomfortable with the way it sounds
when I try to say all.
Then there’s your face in the shadows of the lemon tree
while I swing low from the limbs
reaching for the grass with my fingertips.
I get lost swimming in the dark
and you say just open your eyes now.

Last night I slept in my grandfather’s clothes
and my last thought towards sleep:
remember but I’ll bring you pictures if you forget.