As We Don’t Know

As We Don’t Know

(after John Ashbery)

All that we feel is permeated by it –
Cherry-blossom, yes, that old pastoral
let’s not mention, get all Japanese,
think of wedding fixtures; arcing trees.

You presented to me your city
which was not a city but was
my city and I gave you everything
that wasn’t an us but referred

to what love would not wish to examine,
would see coming in the distance
then duck into a doorway to avoid
the whole mismanaged mess

which was probably, after all,
only a yearning for white-goods
that could no longer be accommodated
within the frame, to be shifted

by a sinister council to make
the house lighter, to bring back
something once embarked upon
which had to stop- green, red.

RED. RED. Stand always
by your guilt and statues.Guard
properly as if at any moment they might
wriggle into a wife and three fat babies.

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