Lesle Lewis: Gallery for Landscapes I and II
Story | I Love Lenora | Bumblebee Love
You, my girl, I don't dislike. Faith is a male. This is a love story. Doubt is a character
too and her sidekick, self appraisal. Patience is another character if you hang around him enough.
Death plays itself. If the boy is an innocent, he believes the girl will be the only one.
She knows love is temporary but she loves the boy. Along comes the poet who sits on a bench,
watches, and cries. It is so beautiful and more than that. So is everything against the poor boy?
Along comes a man. He's willing to wait and see. He feels no stress either way. Maybe he wants it to work
for the boy; he probably does. Who doesn't love the little man? In the end, death itself shows
and clicks the characters off one by one. What's left? The love lingers in the air.
The doubt hovers. The patience stays patient. Nothing is lost. Spring comes to all of us.
I Love Lenora
Under a cloud over New haven, our train is unmoving.
We were born once; we walked through forests; we tried to save ourselves
and our belongings; our fathers died and went away in boats.
We are drifters, I tried to tell you, handsome.
I have no idea what I'm looking at. Is it an alligator with a smaller
alligator in its mouth? The musicians smile at me. I am a woman sideways.
I am leaning into you.
You drive along the farms that edge the lake until you get to the end
of the world for a cup of coffee. You have a guitar and a shawl because
that's how I see you as both subject and poetry evolving. You meet yourself in passing,
you fallen journalist, you duckling, you tower of power over me. I've brought you lots of man things.
11:53 Milwaukee time. The museum is quiet. You are the wooden floor. You are the lake
too large to go around. You are the snake family. You live under the world tree
with your intellectuals. You are a prostitute and my friend. You have ninety-nine names.
You are the land. I'd like to finally say who you are. I'm interested in your animals.
You say many people in your village have been killed. Is your pain constant or throbbing?
I will make myself your friend over a long time. You else would lie down with the bumblebees?
You are not my love, but love. After love, the grasses sway like almost loving.
We shouldn't call it loving.
The days grow shorter very slowly. We talk about suicide, and do we really think New Hampshire is separate from Vermont? How the ferns let the path and the path lets the ferns! These are the days we dream of and the wind blows them for us. The brook travels into the pond in a necklace of continuous and’s. Summer travels like an ant over the bricks in a cricket-laced light. We’re not having drinks anymore.
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“Story,” “I Love Lenore,” and “Bumblebee Love” from Landscapes I & II. Copyright © 2006 by Lesle Lewis. Reprinted with the permission of Alice James Books.