the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Indran Amirthanayagam


— for Antonio

There is no easy rhyme
when a friend packs up
and disappears into the blue…

lake or sea, Europe beyond
these mountains. Why
should we come from birth

to wander the planet
on a breeze of jet fuel,
in the miracle of constant

revisions of instant
messages, in poems
drafted to mark

moments that cannot
be preserved, as our
wandering leads

to further discoveries
of blue, in other

with friends
yet unknown?
To keep the heart

open for them
is the challenge,
open lungs

as if to howl
in the delivery
room, or say

to the heart

in a human body
climbing up
the gangway

to fly into blue,
open his bags
in the appointed

room by the lake,
gulls swooping
outside the window,

a postage stamp,
vase of peonies,
green messenger light.



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