Hurricane by Annelyse Gelman

Curse us if you will—we are already cursed
to ruin what we love and yet
to love. Everything we touch
lifts to dust; forgive us our weakness.
We have such trouble holding on, only wanted
to show you what homes are made of
by pulling them apart—we were so curious.
We didn’t think how to put them back
together. No one told us there was an order
to your grief, your stubborn acres of love
planted in something so temporary.
No one warned us how fragile your hands are.
We only wanted to help—we who lifted, we
who sank, who pulled roots of asphalt with fists
of wind to make a garden of your city. Please—
grow—look how little you need. We have given you
the gift of robbing you of everything
inessential. We didn’t realize you never wanted
to be reminded that everything
is inessential. Forgive us. We were so
afraid. The first time we saw you, we thought
you were gods: how you pass through fields
unnoticed by the trees, the way you can leave
without leaving anything behind. There is nothing
more dangerous than something with no
destination. Forgive us our reverence. We made skylights
of your rooftops. If you had only looked up
you would have seen what became of them:
your shingles chasing flocks of starlings, lawn chairs
dancing two-step with garden gnomes, orchids
in mailboxes, treehouses in the clouds.
We wanted to show you anything is possible.
Forgive us. We were so in love.
In a past life, we were mothers, and you mourned
when we promised you would outlive us.
We were fires, and you wept when all you knew
would turn to ash turned to ash before you
were ready, because you will never be ready.
We were heart surgeons, but no one wants to hear
you can’t hold onto anything without tearing it apart,
that everyone you love is a stranger to someone
who’s a stranger to you, and sometimes who you love
is a stranger, too. Forgive us our strength.
We have such trouble letting go. Above the keening
branches, a smothering of clouds. Even heaven
is not perfect. Even heaven aches to hold the earth.


Date: 2014

By: Annelyse Gelman (19??- )

One Comment to “Hurricane by Annelyse Gelman”

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