The Archipelago of Everyday Life
    Gary Keenan
I've often hoped my influence would remain
independent of history like a urinary infection
or herpes, a cycle of irritation--
think of oysters choking on pearls (My dear, M
we're selfish if we coat our own catarrhs
with Nyquil yet forget the foghorn
of our neighbor's snore, 'tis music
to thine ears, o metropolitans!)
From the grottoes of the Costa Brava
I came upon your cities,
a gymnosperm wandering winds too slight
for sailors, and found raised voices
quivering weathervanes in a skyline squall,
this after all those singing lessons and recitals,
tutor wincing at missed appoggiaturas
and a pianist who couldn't swing from a gallows;
on the way home, your mother stooped to pick
garlic chives beside the shady lane,
then some dandelion greens and rhubarb,
soon she vanished in a boysenberry bush,
but we knew she'd be back with a raft
of jams, stews, and chutneys snug in tupperware.
This is the material composition of love,
like it or not, and though we are visited
by passions requiring long nights sitting
before the window grate counting explosions,
that hunger for her gifts won't abate.
Geology humbles us in time,
but my heart sounds odd without yours beside it.
Remember me in those moments of carnal ecstasy
as one who sought relief when none was needed;
it's all I ask of you, for we now
become obscure to each other,
who might delight on meeting somewhere else.

Gary Keenan has work published in Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Exquisite Corpse and elsewhere. He is a Contributing Poetry Editor for In Posse Review.



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