UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LINKS
From: The afterlife. Toronto: Seraphim Editions. 1998.
Watching poplars sweep the sky
dahlias withering in a garden,
two flamingos in tableau.
I know nothing of this place
or of seasons.
When you enter the room I forget
the world outside. I check
my watch; I have been awake
two minutes and must write
it down. You are the first
person I have ever seen,
ever held, ever spoken to.
You produce a diary and a pen.
In the book are entries
by my hand, but I did not write
them; I have never seen this book
before, never written a single word
You press me on the penmanship
which we both recognize,
and I reiterate, to distraction:
I have never seen the book before.
I have never seen you before this moment.
I know nothing of nurses or illness.
I check my watch: I have been awake
two minutes. I don't remember
your arrival. Before me
is a deck of cards laid out on a bed.
Someone is playing Patience.
Again you ask about the journal,
lined with scores of music.
This enrages me for I leave never
written or conducted though you
assure me once I sang. I know
nothing of song or supplication.
I check my watch against yours: I have
been awake for only two minutes;
1 have just been born: Hello
Hello, 1 love you.
Robert Boates's works copyright © to the author.