The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Rich Ives

My Neighbor’s Car Garden


I have a neighbor whose flexible pearls of wisdom

dumb me down. The patient mirrors of his seeded dreams


have a reason when I’m listening, but every flower breaks new ground,

and the evening lies down. That’s one thing. Another has been gone since


before I started, the more patient neighbor. A rumor, she was killed by a wall

that couldn’t continue being a wall. It fell with patient deliberate ease,


a predetermined accident. There’s something beautiful about it

that strikes me like the repetitively mottled lunatic ecstasy of


lungwort in early spring. Like unseasonal harvests of attractive hornets.

Like feeding eggshells to the chickens. There are sailors born


on the independent ocean who have never known this land. They seem

to be waiting for someone among us where night is still snow


and falls differently every evening, like gently approaching shadow-brides.

We keep them in the snow room, call it Dementia and set it apart.


We put such experience in pills and keep the pills close. We do not take the pills

anywhere because Dementia is angry. Her mother does lots of bad things


and is buried beside the parking lot. There is no building for the parking lot,

but you can smell the guilty cabbage, the damp necessary invitations of rust.

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