The Money We Owed for Being Near the Castle
We had our hands full of unforgiving sunlight.
It was like a dream of peregrines, only softer.
We traded particulates for stones. We asked for more.
I once shook the hand. I once shook the banana tree.
It was like not going to a party because of the noise.
It was like not going to a movie because you’re alone.
Every time I go to the park, a new child asks
if I could be her father, just for a little while.
I’ve learned how to compliment a handstand.
Every ounce is like a full bird, a bottle. Or that experiment
where you take an aquarium and never think
to fill it with water. We traded dreams: in mine
there wasn’t even an ounce of particulate. Yours
had a scene where you don’t fill the aquarium
with fish. Or it was like that restaurant in Prague,
where the bill had six or seven surcharges,
where we never really noticed the birds,
where the ocean seemed neither far nor near,
where one of the surcharges I could translate,
because I knew enough of the language:
the money we owed for being near the castle.
I’ve learned how to compliment a handstand
without promising I will be here tomorrow.