Behind the banyan trees, the mansions. Behind the mansions, the
In the lagoon, a mooring of sailboats.
Wind in the rigging.
Hull-slap and groan.
Where is everybody?
The sound of people playing in their pools—well ..., there
Isn’t any; the streets
Are empty—, the moon, like a moon
Jelly, beating its slow float in the not-
Quite-dark. In the gardens of the Moorings Country Club,
The lights have come on, rice paper lanterns on which are
Printed cherry blossoms. O—this un-
Starred sky. And the smell of the star
Jasmine, the fleshy, resplendent scent
Of the gardenia. Is this where I say, I
Miss you? Where I say, Father, isn’t there anything
In this evening’s long cortege of bloom, as beautiful
As it used to be?
Like the sound of a ghost ship drifting
Through fog—like a sweet-despicable
Imitation of mourning—a piteousness of doves is cooing in the
This poem originally ran in the June 30, 2011, issue of the magazine.