Sunday, July 17, 2005

into english

Despite those writing classes you teach, not everything is a story.

In the kitchen, crushing garlic into seed.

Yes, it is, I said. Some things just haven’t been written yet.

What would last night’s story be? Eating three small, ripe plums from the farmer’s market, their deep fuchsia hearts, sucking on the pitted cores to get every drip. Lighting so blue and constant on the street outside, I went to the window, thinking it was the swirl of a police car, thinking it was an accident again on the curve, two cars making a T. All the neighbors gathered on their porches. We will miss you, my neighbors said. We’ve been spoiled. You’ve been so quiet.

I am the quiet woman who gets into the kind of trouble you cannot hear. I am practicing scales in the attic. I am packing sweaters into boxes, sealing letters, translating into English the end of a story once whispered in my ear.

Nobody can see like you, I tell my students.

There are thousands of poems about trees, but not your tree, not your love. No one has told your story yet. Or mine.

At the coffee shop, the little girl tries. Coming down the stairs, she reaches through the banister, her flat palm toward me, a star, stays: go.