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   m y    d i a l e c t    o f    f l o w e r s

--- R O B E R   K L E I N   E N G L E R

On the Ravenswood train going north, 
they pack them in after work. 
All the young men in suits and ties 
bloom into their lives like a car of roses. 

At dinner David said that he did not want to become an old queen. I told him, Honey, the only alternative to being an old queen is being a dead queen. We rattle over the bridge that spans the river.

I think of the poet Heinrich Heine dying on his mattress grave in Paris. He wrote of Rabbi Ben Naphtali of Cracow who had his hands bound by golden chains so he would not lose patience and lash out.

The time will come when the time comes. It is impatient to press for the end, even as longing inhales a long breath. None of us can help the love we say. One bouquet after another leaves.

There is plenty of room now. A man can build his greenhouse of desire anywhere the air is musty with perfume. This world cannot hold its breath forever.

© crossconnect 1995-1998 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania kelly writers house |