Alternating lunes

amaryllis comes in many flavors
snow sometimes slants
when will politics make improvements?

strawberry amaryllis walks right in
snarling at snowfall
saying flowers don’t abuse women

female rabbi demands ancient answers
untranslatable tablets found
there’s more knowledge in flowers

aren’t all rabbis ancient females
snow’s setting in
untranslatable strawberry soufflés, first course

ancient untranslatable second course arrives
edible flowers abound
distant whale sounds sing loudly

singing memories of the future
they thought so
singing, singing, never stopping singing

echo above sea level roads
people ponder protest
extreme weather patterns manifest warnings

swim swam have swum under
and in soufflés
until willows swill scotch seltzers

no tree left behind pleas
a branch fell
right into the money jar

no money have I none
neither do you
so together we’ll be bereft

piles of words mound high
counting moon phases
feathers flew across our minds

consult the feather field guide
mostly about toucans
and birthdays and cookie monsters

we live in the country
they wonder why
the thin place is nearby

it’s a wordy country here
full of vegetables
each word is a pea

lots of potatoes with eyes
carrots without tops
one frozen leek left behind

carrots have eyes too, y’know
you can sit
on a mushroom, never ginger

some folks sit on rocks
large, smooth, flat
and shakers made fine furniture

some rocks start to shake
like a quaker
I’ve never dated a dentist

dating a dentist really bites
tooth-growing oysters
what a very weird universe

s is a yellow letter
in my synesthesia
I mean my synesthesia scheme

can you hear sunrays?
see trumpet calls?
taste the shape of words?

if you spell synesthesia with
an a (synaesthesia) everything
changes because a is red

synesthetes come in many colors
snow sometimes slants
when will untranslatable make improvements?

if you stick with me
what everything does
will be the backwards opposite

improvements make untranslatable demand flowers
hear, see, taste
everything will make sense again

you’ve got another thing coming
I see people
nothing will ever make sense

nonsense to making sense again
the mysterious mind
memories within time plus space

do you know the future
will be there?
time might go backwards, sir

if only pleasure were limitless
beyond the mind
a tiny speck of sand

if only you knew how
limitless pleasures can
be like little engine dresses

yes the small pleasures roar
like mighty engines
here sometimes they are jets

you mean nuclear jet engines
like the speedway’s
oh save us and the trees

more trees will save us
air moves through
we hear maple sap drop

trees taught us to breathe
sap rises up
we see windy voices say

nothing is really real tonight
the wind laughs
oysters jump on our plates

More Poems by Bernadette Mayer