I Have Good News.
When you are sick for the last time in your life, walking around, shaky, frail with your final illness, feeling the space between yourself and other people grow wider and wider like the gap between a rowboat and its dock-- you will begin to see the plants and flowers of your youth. And they will look as new to you as they did then-- little lavender bouquets arranged in solar systems delicate beyond your comprehension: the dark gold buttons with the purple manes; the swan-white throat splashed with radish-colored flecks; the threadlike stalks that end in asterisks. They are where you left them, by the bus stop bench; along the chain-link fence behind the widow's house. And you shall squat down on your haunches and gaze at them, just as you did before. Because this restitution of your heart is coming, you need not fear the indignities of death and growing old. The synagogue of weed-head will be your evidence that every moment is not trampled by the march of all the rest. It doesn't matter if you end up angry and alone, pulling the trigger of the morphine feed repeatedly; it doesn't matter if you die whimpering into the railing of the hospital bed; refusing to see visitors, smelling your own body in the dawn. The dark ending does not cancel out the brightness of the middle. Your day of greatest joy cannot be dimmed by any shame. Sunlight gilds the traffic out on Kirby Boulevard. The honeysuckle vine braids in and out the spokes of the abandoned bicycle.
TONY HOAG LAND is the author of five volumes of poetry: Application for Release from the Dream; Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty; Sweet Ruin, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry; Donkey Cospel, winner of the James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets; and What Narcissism Means to Me, all from Craywolf Press. He is also the author of two collections of essays about poetry, Real Sofistakashun and Twenty Poems That Could Save America, as well as the chapbook Don't Tell Anyone.
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|Title Annotation:||six poems|
|Publication:||The American Poetry Review|
|Date:||May 1, 2015|
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