In these eyes, either
mist or mystique
but not both:
either tears or a veil,
blurred vision or second sight.
You ask how those modes
cannot stretch to include one another?
Can you not cry while seeing the future?
In response, I turn from you
and refuse to answer.
I cried myself out about the future
long ago; if I cry now, it is only because
of the moment’s touch upon me.
I cannot allow myself the luxury
of pre-mourning that which I foresee;
there is too much to be done before then.
Don’t you love the look of barnwood
in your home? Wide boards dented
from hooves and heavy boots, or (more likely)
from chains dragged and slammed upon them
in industrial furniture mills until they meet
a mythic standard for anything made to look
as if it once had some harder use.
Don’t you love the smell of incense
in your home? Sandalwood
pressed into decorating the nostrils
of your guests in your barnwood home
instead of perfuming the temples
where it once praised Lakshmi and Shiva
in its rising from soft flame.
Don’t you love the dreamcatcher
in your home? The Assiniboine
net framed perfectly on the charcoal wall
over the bookcase, centered, empty of specters
as far as you know, merely here to let folks know
you appreciate authenticity, found some
on that last trip out West,
and brought it into your home.
Don’t you love sleeping
in your home? Lying at night
on the cotton sheets, on the
bamboo pillow. Your partner
is a shadow on the other side,
more memory than solid figure
in the dark. You wish they’d wake up
and touch you. You wish on invisible stars
for that to happen. You cannot wait
for the day to begin and fill the house
with light so that you can look at all
the pretty things you truly own.