With love


For Vera On a Bad Day

when you lift the lid off of hedgerow leaves and see the world as it is,

as open as one who did not know what yearning was but loving.

if i borrow four eggs, i know you will say i borrowed three

when i tried to pay you back in quarters. i close my eyes

when we shift from the harbor, 

but i know the milkman will harrow through the pavement, still,

my face atop the sea will heave those porcelain images of home.

though we never mean to write love poems

or disqualify ourselves in the running,

we have learned to knock our ambitions from decay

and have preyed upon the way the garden grows next.

Elizabeth Hsieh