How did the fall begin? With touch? With naming? You were guidebook, misstep. You were hiking in Japan. You were thought, memory, dirt. You were the unmailed text. I found a letter from Charles Darwin in which h e wrote of “pelargonium” (fr. the genus geranium) often blended with rose scent. I read a poem by William Carlos Williams where he wrote of asphodel sweet as sleep undefined, under unmarked sky. I recorded numbers like a Kabbalist. I counted glimmers on waves, pines on the hill, tried to arrange this view from my desk. Numbers would nail me to the present, stave off death. You died and could not tell me what flower was made from your body? While the Pacific lay down its dark syllables
Susan Briante is the author of Pioneers in the Study of Motion, Utopia Minus, and the chapbook The Market Is a Parasite That Looks Like a Nest, part of an ongoing lyric investigation of the stock market.