My Lovely Garonne

by Jessica Greenbaum

for A.Z.

Because every tenth poem or so the poet described
the river of his city, I began to live within sight
of the river, thinking about one thing and then looking
to the left where glinted the river, tempered or fibrillating
at the end of the block, and the blocks became
a conversation, the view became the love threading
between the speakers, sometimes lazily, sometimes darkly,
sometimes seeming brushed backward by wind
against its own grain, and each section of the book
(there were three), remembered to include the river,
because no matter our despair about the destruction
people have wrought against each other and the earth,
we’re sewn to love, sometimes everywhere you look
offers evidence, the light on the river’s surface
like little stitches, the dawn’s half moon, white, stuck
like a dime in the coin slot ready to get the day going,
the tree above me so expansive it covers six city
yards, creates its own neighborhoods for the birds
and squirrels which travel its byways, and as the pages
of the day turn—it’s already light; we’ve already
lost the privacy of the prefacing dark—I mistake
the distanced sound of traffic for the commentary
of the river, which I live alongside now, a little
hope, on my birthday, that all the systems can gain
strength from each other, as we are grateful for the feral
cherry tomatoes, redder than our seasonal cardinal
and also here without our help, ready for picking and
watered, from now on, by the river running underneath.

Last updated March 27, 2023