Branches at the window, like someone told the apricot, speak to the house. We can be roused
only by an energetic wind. Wind, earlier you came in intervals
and I tried likewise to chart my pain, measuring its silences, hoping it might amount
to something. Hannah Arendt was a beautiful Jewish girl, I want to tell you
the rudiments of her story the way the man at the lectern, born in the old world, did, the fall
that I was thirty and every wind had energy. The old world, when people
who had to think had wives. Still, we have our place in everlastingness.
A door opened when one person died, the door’s waiting for another person
to slip in before it closes. That image, given
to me on a summer night when the heat wouldn’t go quietly and broken
sleep made broken dreams. They stay intact on waking. Like all parents, I can say,
many people do not like the name I’ve chosen. In the middle of the pain and the thinking
about the pain, that wind felt like a freshet of a brook, the kind of pastoral place that first
made me write down anything when I was a child
thinking of why they named me what they did
instead of all the names they told me they considered. I am now obliged
by the amount of knowledge I am said to possess by the world that wishes
to name such things to call this poetry, but this morning,
smoke from the fire settled over the little house I love, and nothing moved.
It is right, my suitcase should be ready.
© Katie Peterson