As Umbrellas Follow Rain

from Chinese Whispers (2002)

        Too bad he never tried it—
	he might have liked it.
        She saw us make eye contact.
	And that was that for that day.
        Too bad he too, when I
        meaning if I came along it’d
	already be too late.
        Some of the swans are swarming.
	The spring has gone under—it wasn’t
	supposed to be like this.
        Now they watch him and cringe.
	Who are they?  Who is he?
        We decided to fly Chinese.
	The food wasn’t that good.
        And oh Erwin did I tell you
	that man—the one—I didn’t
        know if I was supposed to or not.
	He crawled back listlessly,
        holding a bunch of divas.
	It’s hard work getting these out,
        but so’s any thing you’re entitled to do:
	classes to attend.
        The morning of school.
	Evening almost over,
        they bend the security rules.
	It’s time for another fog bomb.
        Lookit the way they all roost.
	Poor souls clashed together
        until almost the root’s roof
	separates us from our beginning.
        We slew many giants in our day,
	burned many libraries.
        Roundabouts, swings,
	it was all one piece of luck to us.
        Now we’re washed up it’s almost cold.
	Not bad enough to put up a stand.
        Out of that longing we built a paean.
	Now everyone who crosses this bridge is wiser.
        It doesn’t tilt much.
	Look, the shore is arriving laterally.
        Some people literally think they know a lot,
	gets ‘em in trouble, we must rake out
        cafés looking for rats and exploded babies.
	There was one too many last week.
        I don’t know if you’re coding.
	The cop pulled us over
        in a shawl.  Why do you want to go around me
	when there are other circulars
        to be had for the looking?
	I never thought about being grounded forever.
        This is Mademoiselle.  Take your hat off.
	There’s no need, I was here last Thursday.
        All the best creatures are thwarted
	for their pains.  He removed my chains deftly,
        processed my passport with gunk.
	Now two times five geese fly across
	the crescent moon, it is time to get down to
	facts, in the tiny park.
        There were priests posing as nuns,
	quinces and stuff.
        Tilt me a little more to the sun,
	I want to see it one last time.  There,
        that’s just fine.  I’ve seen it.
	You can roll me inside.  On wings of what perturbation?
        He came in last week too.
	Said he knew you or somebody else.
        It’s the pain just of replying
	that makes so many of them take up different lines.
        Too many goods—we are spoiled indeed.
	Had we learned to subsist on less
        the changing of the world might be different,
	earth come to greet us.  I say, the chairs have grown back.
        The couple sat in the dish drainer
	pondering an uncertain future.
        The kitchen had never looked bleaker
	except for two chinchillas near the stove, a beaker
         of mulled claret, shaving soap smelling
	so fresh and new, like smoke, almost.
        He says leave it here,
	that he comes here.
        OK harness the DeSoto,
	we’ll have other plans
         for newness, for a renewing, kind of—
	picnics in the individual cells
        so no one falls asleep for it, dreams
	she is a viola, instrument of care, of sorts.
        You should have seen when we got back.
	He was absolutely wild.  Hadn’t wanted us to go
        to the picture show.  But in a way it was all over,
	we were back, the harm had been done.
        Gradually he came to realize this
	over a period of many years, spanning
        two world wars and a major depression.
	After that it was time to get up and go,
        but who had the get up and go?  A child’s
	party, painted paper hats, bowlfuls of lemonade,
        no more at the lemonade stand, it sold out.
	That was cheerful.  A man came right up behind you,
        he had two tickets to the door.
	We need starve no more
        but religion is elastic too—
	might want some at some future date—
        if so you’ll find it here.
	We have to hurry in now,
        hurry away, it’s the same thing
	she said as rain came and stole the king.